Camp Offerings

BioIgnite camps will engage your middle school student in hands-on activities while he or she learns about cutting-edge topics and careers in bioSTEM (biology-related science, technology, engineering, and math). We currently offer one-day Saturday camps during the school year and week-long Monday-Friday camps during the summer. 

Why choose BioIgnite? Click a topic to learn more:

Expert curriculum, expert teachers

Together, our founders hold 2 PhDs and 3 Master’s degrees in bioengineering and related disciplines, with 2 more PhDs in progress. The founders devoted over 500 hours to develop a curriculum that is specifically tailored to middle school students, drawing on their combined 28 peer-reviewed publications and 40+ years of bioSTEM research experience at top-tier institutions, such as Georgia Tech, MIT, and the Gladstone Institutes.

At BioIgnite, we believe that our students should learn directly from the experts. That’s why all our instructors are PhD or Master’s students in top bioSTEM programs whose passion and research experiences are directly aligned with the content they’re teaching. We also enlist bioSTEM Bachelor’s students, most with at least 1 year of research experience, to help facilitate our hands-on activities. Our 6:1 student:teacher ratio demonstrates our commitment to giving our students access to the top minds in each area of bioSTEM.

Cutting-edge bioSTEM topics

We strive to expose our students to many facets of bioSTEM. BioIgnite breaks out of the mold of standards-driven formal education, enabling continuous development of new curricula as the underlying science is discovered. Presently, our students can choose from the following two camp options:

BioIgnite Design

Biomechanics: Biology and mechanical engineering interact at all scales, ranging from a single cell to organs to the entire human body. Students will build theoretical and physical models of force interactions and create a model of the human heart to better understand its pumping capabilities.

Biomedical imaging: Learn how doctors and scientists image the body to better understand what happens beneath the skin. Students will build a working microscope using Legos, learn how a computer stores images, and discover the importance of imaging techniques such as X-ray and MRI.

Neuroengineering: Investigate the field of neuroengineering, where biology meets electrical engineering. Students will construct a circuit to model how the brain’s signals coordinate body movements and learn about the special cells that carry these signals. 

Regenerative medicine: Discover ground-breaking techniques that will someday enable scientists to create patient-specific organs and harness the body’s regenerative capabilities. Students will learn about stem cells, build their own model of an organ, and design biomaterials.

Design Studio: Students work in teams to design a prosthetic hand. Students go through the engineering design process from problem identification, to sketching ideas, to building prototypes.

BioIgnite Lab (8th and 9th grade only)

Genetic Engineering: Explore the world of modifying genes for research, food, and medicine. Students will extract DNA and learn how to build a plasmid like scientists.

Drug Delivery and Design: What factors influence the best way to administer life saving drugs to patients? Students will learn about various drug delivery methods, release kinetics, and get a first hand look at how drugs move from the lab bench to the bedside of a patient.

Cardiovascular Engineering: Students will learn about the normal and diseased function of hearts. Students will perform surgical techniques on animal hearts while attempting to engineer a solution to save a failing heart!  

Cancer Research: What causes cancer and what are scientists, doctors, and engineers doing to cure it? Explore DNA mutations that cause cancer, experience what it is like to be a cell that is thrown into dysregulation due to cancer, and view cancer cells under a microscope

Lab Skills: In the afternoon students will conduct lab experiments and learn valuable lab skills such as pipetting, bacteria cell culture, enzymatic reactions, and more.

Activity-based learning & design challenge

Our extensive biology research experience taught us that the best way to learn is by doing. That’s why our curricula focus on hands-on activities that facilitate student-driven discovery, reinforce concepts, and encourage creativity. Every student learns differently, so we include a mixture of individual and small-group activities.

Our week-long camps feature a biomedical device design challenge, in which students work in teams to design, build, and test their own hand prosthetics. Teams work on their designs each afternoon (Monday-Thursday) and give a final presentation on Friday to showcase their creations.

Career exploration

BioIgnite’s founders are unquestionably passionate about bioSTEM. Surprisingly, few of them were aware of bioSTEM career opportunities until college or even grad school, which is why BioIgnite invites the next generation to explore their career options at a young age. Our curricula frequently discuss bioSTEM careers, and our week-long camps culminate in a career day on Friday.

During career day, students are taught about the professionals in academia, industry, and healthcare who combine forces to create life-saving drugs and medical devices, starting from a basic scientific concept. We review the educational requirements for various career opportunities and invite local bioSTEM professionals to share their experiences first-hand.

We’re in your neighborhood

Atlanta: Our Saturday and week-long camps are currently held at Georgia Tech (Midtown) or Fulton Science Academy (Alpharetta). The camps are taught by graduate and undergraduate students from top schools in the Atlanta area, including Georgia Tech and Emory.

Durham: In April 2018 we will launch our new location in Durham, NC. Our first event will be held on Duke University’s campus.

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