The third annual Bioengineering High School Competition (BioEHSC) at UC Berkeley concluded on Saturday, April 9!
Nearly a hundred high school students all over the Bay Area, including those from Albany, James Logan, Silver Oaks, Saint Francis, Lowell, Lynbrook, ACLC, Campolindo, and Las Lomas High Schools worked for six weeks to identify and propose a novel solution to address a biomedical problem or need, and presented their findings to a panel of judges in a final research poster symposium on Saturday. During the six weeks, the contestants, in teams of four or five, were mentored by UC Berkeley undergraduate students and were challenged to learn and think creatively as they reviewed scientific research articles and formulated their design proposals to compete in three categories of the competition: Biomedical Devices, Synthetic Biology, and Literature Review Video.
The winning teams were from Lynbrook High School (Biomedical Devices), which presented a solution to use nanoparticles to capture excess amounts of antihistamine drugs in the body to combat overdose, and from Lowell High School (Synthetic Biology), which presented a solution to create a more palatable strain of Brussels sprouts using CRISPR-Cas9, a technology to edit genomic DNA. Additionally, another team from Lowell High School won the Literature Review Video category with their hand-drawn time lapse video presenting their CRISPR-Cas9 proposal to induce Zika virus immunity in mosquitos. Each of the three teams received scientific equipment donated by the corporate sponsors to incorporate into the classroom curriculum, including: the Amino One, a desktop bioreactor, the miniPCR, a portable PCR machine used to amplify DNA, and the BITalino, an electronics platform designed to interface with biological signals.
With your support, we hope to run an even bigger and better BioEHSC next year!