A Notre Dame education extends well beyond the footprint of our downtown San Jose campus, out into the tenth largest city in the United States and the thriving center of Silicon Valley. The area is rich with culture, history, art and resources. Biotech students recently embarked on one of more than 50 walking field trips scheduled for this year, to visit the BioDesign Studio at the Tech Museum.
BioDesign Studio engages the public in interactive exhibits that spark imagination and confidence with the burgeoning fields of synthetic biology, bioengineering, biological design and DIY biology. Students were able to make bio-ink from a natural bio-pigment made by bacteria and then print notecards using this ink. They were also able to engineer and release virtual creatures using the 'creature creation' station, and explore real-life biology and healthcare innovations. Virtual reality tours of San Jose were even available, helping students understand the concept in a context they know well - their downtown home.
The Biotech student are currently studying bioethics and have explored the topic through resources on the Tech website in addition to articles, readings and the Santa Clara University ethical decision making app to explore their thoughts on the use of animals in science and industry. Their research into the topic will culminate in a personal position paper and help them further their understanding of social justice issues.