2018 Hack the Helix Teachers at Biotech Without Borders

2018 Hack the Helix Teachers at Biotech Without Borders

hack the helix

Hack the helix is our teacher resource program

BwoB founders Megan Wallner and Ellen Jorgensen started Hack the Helix in 2017 as a pilot program to support NYC STEM teachers who wanted to include molecular biology in their curricula. Our facility is a great place to try out new labs before doing them with your class. Plus you can use us as a staging area, preparing things like agar plates, solutions and sterile consumables. When you feel confident, you can even bring your class to the lab to deliver the lesson.

2019-2020 program is now open!

In conjunction with Math for America, Biotech without Borders became a PLT (Professional Learning Team) experience in the fall of 2018 around molecular biology skills. Public high school science teachers will met monthly to share best practices and get on-demand access to equipment, training and mentoring. We are continuing this program in Spring 2019 as a BwoB program, and have submitted it as an MfA program again for fall 2019. Even if you are not an MfA Master Teacher, you can still participate in Hack the Helix. Contact Dr. Jorgensen at ejorgensen@biotechwithoutborders.org for more information.

professional development


Hands-on lab classes through ASPDP. Workshops and free talks throughout the year. Subjects include CRISPR, DNA barcoding, personal genomics, epigenetics, and more.

We also host regular open nights (PCR & Pizza) with pizza and beer where you can relax with colleagues, discuss best practices and learn about new technologies 

free or low-cost supplies

We have partnered with biotech supply companies, nonprofit organizations and science professionals to get donations of free supplies for NYC public school teachers. Enzymes, plasmids, DNA extraction kits and loaner equipment are available. We buy supplies in bulk, make many of our own solutions and reagents, and can help you hack your classroom to get what you need to teach great molecular science.


What teachers say

“This year I did a PTC lab, mtDNA lab, and gel electrophoresis forensics with PCR in my school.  Hack the Helix has been a great support to try out labs hands-on before bringing ideas into the classroom.  Being here pushed me to keep trying these ideas.”

 “I come for inspiration from other teachers and hearing about what people are doing [in their classrooms], plus the types of labs that can be done.  I am in a bubble at my school.  At Hack the Helix I get ideas of DIY lab resources.”

“Hack the Helix supported me by troubleshooting and hearing what people do in their classrooms.”

 “Coming for new ideas was really helpful.  The GMO lab gave me a whole new idea of what can be done with my students.  “