Buzz on Biotechnology

**Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no Buzz on Biotechnology Open House in the fall of 2021, but we hope to bring the event back in the fall of 2022! Submit your contact information HERE to receive updates.

Georgia Tech
Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience
315 Ferst Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332


Each fall the Petit Institute hosts its largest outreach event, the Buzz on Biotechnology High School Open House. This science fair open house is held on a Saturday each fall 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. This event is for 8th-12th grade students only (13-18 years of age) who may be accompanied by their parents, guardians, teachers, and/or administrators. No minor children under the age of 13 years old will be permitted.

NOTE: Georgia Tech requires that all attendees under the age of 18 years old must submit a completed and signed parental release form to attend the open house (provided upon registration and on site).

Buzz on Biotechnology allows:

  • Students, teachers, parents, siblings, to see innovative research at Georgia Tech
  • Explore Tech's campus and 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

Check out all of the Cool Stuff that happened at our last Buzz on Biotech!

State-of-the-art biotech lab tours are part of the fun at Buzz on Biotech! See the list of cutting edge labs open for tours (each guest receives one lab tour assignment at check-in):

Microneedles and Drug Delivery (Mark Prausnitz lab)
Exciting Neural Activity (Rob Butera lab)
Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine (Andrés García lab)
Engineering Orthopedic Tissues & Biomaterials (Temenoff lab)
Engineered Immunotherapy (Susan Thomas lab)
Immunoengineering (Krishnendu Roy lab)
Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering (M.G. Finn lab)
Redox Systems Biology (Melissa Kemp lab)
Systems and Synthetic Biology (Mark Styczynski lab)


  • The Universe of Biomaterials - Have you ever been curious about the materials doctors implant into the body? Biomaterials have a wide range of functions, from skin grafts to drug delivery. This seminar introduces the basic biomaterial design principles and surveys a wide variety of biomaterials in research and clinical settings.
  • Neuroscience and Sensation - Ever wonder how your brain processes and understands your senses? Neuroscientists are trying to understand how we are able to feel, see, taste, smell, and hear. In this seminar you will learn about sensation from a scientific perspective – and then try some Miracle Berries to see this in action!
  • Project ENGAGES and Petit Scholar Rapid Fire Talks - Come hear what Atlanta area high school students, who are already doing research at GT, and some top GT undergraduates are researching!


  • 3D Printing: Everyone has used a printer to put images or words on paper, but have you ever heard of a printer that can make something 3D!? 3D printers are a new technology which can be used to print materials that are the same shapes as tissues in your body. Come experiment with some 3D printing pens and see what you can create!
  • Animal Bots: Come see the animal-like robots that mimic the way these real animals walk. See how they function when challenged in different environments - from the Daniel Goldman C.R.A.B. Lab
  • Brain Anatomy- NEW!: Have you ever wondered how the brain of a Georgia Tech scientist works? Learn about the function and the different regions of the brain that are responsible for all aspects of your life from breathing to emotions. 
  • 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 Anatomy: Touch the hearts of pigs and mice to learn the function of the various structures that will make your heart beat! This demonstration will introduce you to the basics of cardiovascular anatomy and physiology.
  • Colder and Colder and Colder Than That: 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!
  • Diffusion of Skittles- NEW!: Did you know that without diffusion, human life wouldn’t exist? Come learn about the principles of diffusion with skittles. You won’t be able to taste the rainbow, but you’ll be able to make the rainbow!
  • Egg Drop: Millions of Americans ride bicycles, but less than half wear bicycle helmets. In 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care. Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20. Annually, 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments. 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 - Prizes given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners with the lightest, unbroken "helmets!"
  • Enzymatic Magic: Enzymes are specialized proteins with capabilities to recognize specific molecules and catalyze, or accelerate, chemical reactions. Enzymes make life possible, in humans and in other familiar forms of life.
  • Evolution in a Tube: Evolving Yeast into Multicellular Organisms - NEW!How did microbes become multicellular?  Single-celled creatures have evolved to live together in groups multiple times over the course of Earth's history, becoming plants, animals, fungi, and other things.  Come see how we evolve yeast into multicellular creatures in the laboratory to understand this transition!
  • Explosion of Color: Many times in biology, it is necessary for like substances to mix together and separate from each other. In this demo, see a colorful example of this principle.
  • Eye Anatomy: Learn about the function of the eye and how the complex structure affects the things we see, using real eyes 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!
  • Iodine Clock: How do you make a clock with no batteries, gears, or hands? With a cool, color changing chemical reaction of course!
  • Lava Lamps: Water and oil don’t mix well, but we can exploit their opposing properties to make fun lava lamps. Come check out the lamps and learn about how hydrophobicity works.
  • The Magic Behind Magic Marker- NEW!: Come learn about the principles of chromatography while finding out what truly makes a black marker black. You might be surprised what you find!
  • Miracle Berries: Have you ever wondered what makes sweet foods taste sweet and sour food taste sour? Come taste a miracle berry which tricks your taste buds into thinking sour foods are sweet!
  • Oobleck: Oobleck is a slimy substance with special properties that cause its hardness to change with force. Come make some Oobleck and learn about the properties of a non-Newtonian substance!
  • Outer Space in a Jar: You may have heard before that outer space is a vacuum, but what does that really mean? Come see a tabletop vacuum chamber and learn about the effects of air pressure!
  • Smaller Than the Eye Can See- NEW!: Did you ever think that there could be a whole new world of things you can’t see? Come learn about the microscopic world by exploring how different objects appear under a microscope.
  • Smart Prosthetics- NEW!: How can we use robotic devices to improve prosthetics for humans? Come visit the demo by the Exoskeleton and Prosthetic Intelligent Controls Lab at Georgia Tech to learn more about wearable devices.
  • Tiny Particles Big Impact: Have you ever wondered what makes gummy bears so rubbery? Come learn about the polymerization of sodium alginate and its many uses in food items and drug delivery!
  • 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 in the body.

For event inquiries, email