Buzz on Biotechnology

​Saturday, October 27, 2018
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Petit Institute Biotechnology Building
Georgia Tech
315 Ferst Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332

Each fall the Petit Institute hosts one of its largest outreach events, the Buzz on Biotechnology High School Open House. This science fair open house is held each fall on a Saturday, and is organized entirely by graduate students from Bioengineering and Bioscience Unified Graduate Students (BBUGS) education and outreach committees to encourage high school students to indulge in their scientific curiosity. 


NOTE: All attendees under the age of 18 years old must submit a completed and signed parental release form to attend the open house. Download this form here and email it prior to the event to to finalize registration for those individuals. You may send a scanned copy of the signed form, or you may also send a CLEAR photographed copy of the form.”  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Colly Mitchell.

Buzz on Biotechnology allows:

  • Students, teachers, parents, siblings, to see innovative research at Georgia Tech
  • Explore Tech's campus & the state-of-the-art Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience
  • Engage in hands-on science and engineering concepts
  • View sample demonstrations
  • Tour research laboratories
  • Receive GT admissions materials
  • School groups must provide 1 adult chaperone for every 10 students, a maximum of 40 students per any one school group or organization 


Demos From the Last Open House


Cabbage Acids and Bases:  If you thought cooked cabbage was only good for stinking up your kitchen, think again. Come find out how cabbage can tell you the pH of the common substances around your house with colorful solutions.

Cardiovascular System:  Touch a pig heart and learn the function of the various structures that make your heart beat! This demonstration will introduce you to the basics of the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system.

Edible Cell:  The cell is a fascinating piece of machinery that in and of itself has the capability to sustain life. In Edible Cell, we will represent the parts of the cell with candy while explaining their various functions. This demo is a fun way to learn about cellular basics while getting something sweet in return!

Egg Drop:  In 2003, approximately 285,600 kids under the age of 14 were treated for bicycle related injuries, including brain injury. Prevention of head injuries is possible by wearing a properly fitted helmet. Learn about the important design criteria for helmets and then use this knowledge to design a "helmet" for a raw egg. after designing your egg helmet, stop by at 12:30 for the Egg Drop Competition.

Eye Demonstration: Learn the function of the eye and how the complex structure affects the things we see, using real eyes to as a visual aide!

Genes by All Means:  We all know that DNA is the template of life, but did you know you can extract it from food using common household products? Watch DNA be extracted from peas … right before your eyes!

Leaf Chromatography: Leaves contain different pigments that give them their color. The most common pigment, chlorophyll, is usually green. However, leaves also contain red, orange, and yellow pigments that are visible when the green chlorophyll breaks down. In this project you can find the hidden colors in the green leaf.

Liquid Nitrogen:  What would happen if you could flash freeze a flower? What about a banana, or a ping pong ball? What is dry ice and why does it steam? How does liquid nitrogen stay a liquid? Come explore the fun of freezing temperatures and the many uses of liquid nitrogen and dry ice in the lab!

Mentos and Coke: Do you enjoy shaking up a coke and watching it spray? Make it ten times more exciting by adding Mentos. This demo will show how catalysts can accelerate a reaction.

Protein Folding:  Proteins are everywhere! The goal of this tutorial is to help students understand how proteins transform from a spaghetti-like structure to a folded active protein. In this demonstration students will randomly place tacks representing amino acids on a bendable foam tube so that protein structure is maintained while the tube bends.

Stem Cell Plinko: Stem cells are defined by their ability to turn into other types of cells through a process called "differentiation." But how does a stem cell decide what type of cell to turn into? Come play an interactive plinko game to learn how scientists control stem cell differentiation.

Tiny Particles, Big Impact:  Alginate might come from the sea, but we use it in many foods, including drinks and ice cream. Experience the formation of edible alginate beads, and learn the chemistry behind this seemingly magical phenomenon.

Viscoelasticity: Remember playing with silly putty? In our viscoelasticity demo, you can learn how to make it out of common household chemicals. Take some home and learn about how its properties are used in science and the body.


Astronaut Ice Cream: Nitrogen is about 78% of the air you breathe. But, like all elements, it has a liquid form, which it reaches at -178 degrees Celsius – cold enough to make your own ice cream! In this demo, you will have a chance to do just that!

Magic Sand: In biology, there are many substances classified by how they behave around water: either hydrophobic (“afraid” of water) or hydrophilic (“loves” water). In this demo, learn what makes certain materials “afraid” of water with magic sand!

3D Ribosome Images:  If you thought 3D TV was cool, wait until you see 3D DNA on the big screen! Then, assist in conducting experiments to see DNA run on a gel, test out your pipetting skills, and see tiny rotifer bugs under a microscope.

Elephant Toothpaste: In this demonstration, learn how catalysts (chemicals crucial to living organisms) rapidly increase the rate of chemical reactions.

Non-Newtonian Fluid: Have you ever wondered if it was possible to walk on liquid? Learn how you could, by making your own non-Newtonian fluid!

Explosion of Color: Many times in biology, it is necessary for like substances to mix together. In this demo, see a colorful example of this principle.


For event inquiries, please contact Colly Mitchell