20.020 | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate
Introduction to Biological Engineering Design

BioBuilder Animations

BioBuilder® is a resource for hands-on activities and informative animations on synthetic biology, and a place to discuss the challenge of engineering biological systems.

In 20.020, several BioBuilder animations are used as learning materials in the weekly classroom and lab activities. The full set of animations are posted below for reference.

In addition to these animations, the BioBuilder website includes these other synthetic biology resources.

  • A sequence of introductory Bioprimer activities
  • For teachers, detailed instructor’s notes and supporting materials to help you bring BioBuilder into your classroom
  • For students, a structured sequence of synthetic biology labs and assignments


BioBuilder is populated with short, animated narratives, mostly showing the interaction between a lab scientist, Systems Sally, and an excited young learner, Device Dude. Their brainstorming sessions at the whiteboard and in the laboratory teach topics relevant to synthetic biology.

About BioBuilder

Started in 2007 at MIT, BioBuilder was created under the direction of Natalie Kuldell in response to numerous requests for synthetic biology learning materials from policy makers, environmental groups, and members of the media needing to know more about the basic biology involved, as well as scientists wanting to know more about engineering aspects of the field.

A two-minute video introduction: BioBuilderTV. “About_BioBuilder.” January 13, 2011. YouTube. Accessed March 4, 2011.

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Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2009
Learning Resource Types
theaters Tutorial Videos
notes Lecture Notes
group_work Projects with Examples