Colors, Smells, and Gels Without Cells: Low Cost Education Kits
Hands-on demonstrations enhance STEM education, but few biology demonstrations are practical and accessible. Here we introduce a low-cost synthetic biology educational kit based on shelf-stable, freeze-dried, cell-free reactions activated by water. These reactions engage the senses with outputs that produce fluorescence, fragrances, and hydrogels. These components can teach tunable protein expression, enzymatic reactions, and biomaterial formation, logic gates and biosensors to encourage student-driven, independent STEM explorations.