Middle School (Grades 6 - 9)

There are a number of regional opportunities for middle school students interested in learning more about biotechnology and other science fields, including participation at the annual Expanding Your Horizons event and visiting the Powerhouse Science Center. Through BioTech SYSTEM, Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology PhD students volunteer for regional "career days", student e-mentoring and lead hands-on experiments, such as the ever-popular strawberry DNA extraction, at the invitation of middle school educators. Please contact us for more information.

Expanding Your Horizons Conference - an all-day STEM conference held each October at Sacramento State University for 6th -8th grade girls.

Powerhouse Science Center - a regional science museum hosting on-going exhibits and educational programs for students in pre-K - 8th grades.


Past BioTech SYSTEM Programs:

hands around globeThe Biotech Expo Poster Competition for Middle School Students

Note: Due to budget and staffing constraints, the regional Biotech Expo contest has been placed on hiatus. The regional competition and awards event may resume in the future school years, depending on resource availability.

Life science middle school teachers are encouraged to use the published Biotech Expo contest instructions and materials linked below to develop local school site competitions.

About: Through the poster competition, students learn about basic biotech concepts and the application of science and technology to global challenges in agriculture, medicine and environmental sustainability.  Participants work individually or in teams of up to three, researching current biotech topics and designing educational poster displays.  In addition to promoting life science literacy, Biotech Expo emphasizes development of technical writing skills, proper citation of scientific references and the use of visual media to illustrate scientific concepts. 

Contest Focus Areas:  Students select a biotech-related topic that falls within one of the seven contest focus areas listed below.  Click on a focus area of interest for suggested topics and reference sources.

Eligibility:  Biotech Expo is open to students (Grades 6-9) in the greater Sacramento Valley, including these Northern California counties: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Glenn, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba. California students residing in a county not listed above may petition to apply if the student can meet all contest requirements and participate at the Biotech Expo Poster Symposium held at UC Davis.

Contest entries will be judged at two distinct skill levels, Apprentice (Grades 6-7) and Master (Grades 8-9).  If a team has mixed grade level membership, the team will be asked to self-assess skill level and to indicate either Apprentice or Master level on the team member registration forms.  However, contest judges will have final authority on the placement of entries at either the Apprentice or Master level.  High school students (Grades 10-12) interested in Biotech Expo may enter the Teen Biotech Challenge, a similarly formatted web design contest.  During the high school freshman year (Grade 9), students may choose to enter either Biotech Expo or Teen Biotech Challenge (or both… Bonus! Double the fun!).

Judging & Awards:  Posters are collected, judged and exhibited on the evening of Biotech Expo event. At the poster exhibition, award ribbons will be given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention in each of the seven focus areas.  Apprentice and Master entries will be independently judged and awarded. 

Past Participants: 

2010 Contest Winners 

2011-2012 Contest Winners

Instructions: 2011-2012 contest instructions and registration forms are available for review.

Contest Handout for Students: Biotech Expo Trifold Brochure