The Lawrence Hall of Science
The public science center of the University of California, Berkeley.
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Closed December 24 & 25
We’ll bring our science programs to you.
We partner with school districts to support science learning. We offer district-wide elementary, middle, and high school programs, either virtually or in-person.
We collaborate with a range of partners to innovate in science education. Together, we go further.
The Lawrence’s Exploring Biotechnology program introduces middle schoolers to the powerful and locally relevant field of biotechnology. In the 2022-23 school year, we were able to serve over 1,300 middle school students and teachers with generous support from the Bayer Fund.
Below you can find a selection of educational resources from this program, including our biotechnology careers video series, lesson materials for a hands-on activity featuring yeast, and the full program report.
This video series highlights the wide range of problems that local bay area scientists are solving using biotechnology. From human health to sustainable fashion to plant-based meats to agriculture and climate change, biotech professionals are applying knowledge of the inner workings of living organisms to design innovative solutions to important problems.
Pivot Bio Pivot Bio has transformed the way fertilizer is produced and used by the world’s farmers. From their environmentally…
Bolt Threads Bolt Threads is a material solutions company. With nature as their inspiration, they invent cutting-edge materials for the…
Impossible Foods Impossible’s mission is to make the global food system truly sustainable by eliminating the need to make food…
Bayer Bayer is a Life Science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of…
These biotech lessons are used before and after a biotech field trip to The Lawrence as part of the Exploring Biotechnology program.
The first lesson occurs in the classroom before the field trip, and could also be used as a standalone lesson. Students are introduced to different ways scientists and engineers can modify microbes like yeast and bacteria to cause them to make environmentally friendly products. Students then gain hands-on experience with this idea by conducting an investigation where they compare the behavior of two different kinds of yeast. Students end the lesson by viewing and discussing two of the biotech careers videos.
The second lesson happens during the field trip to The Lawrence. Students are immersed in the inner world of cells in our planetarium and then conduct a high tech biotechnology experiment in the Bayer Fund Science Discovery Lab.
The third lesson occurs in the classroom after the field trip. Students reflect on their visit to The Lawrence and then view and discuss the final two biotech careers videos. Students bring what they have learned together with their own experiences and values in a final project where they share what problems they would solve using biotechnology.
Grades: Middle School
Topics: Biology, Engineering
Activity Resources: Sample lesson materials including detailed instructions for a hands-on activity featuring yeast
EXBIO Teachers Guide – Lessons 1 & 3
EXBIO Projections – Lessons 1 & 3
EXBIO Student Sheet – Lesson 1
EXBIO Graphic Organizer – Lesson 1 & 3
This program is part of The Lawrence’s biotechnology education program, which aims to reveal the microscopic worlds inside living things and engage learners with the different ways life can be used to solve problems. Visitors to the Lawrence might be interested in our Hands-on Biotech exhibit space.
For more information about this project please contact Lee Bishop at email@example.com.