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Stamps Students Present at 2021 Biodesign Challenge Summit


A team of stu­dents from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan has been selected as final­ists to present at the vir­tual Biode­sign Chal­lenge (BDC) Sum­mit, on Tues­day, June 22 at 3 pm ET. This event is free and open to the pub­lic. Reg­is­tra­tion is required.

The Biode­sign Chal­lenge is an inter­na­tional stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion and edu­ca­tional pro­gram in which par­tic­i­pants design bold, new, applic­a­ble ways to har­ness liv­ing sys­tems and biotech­nol­ogy to address chal­lenges of the 21st century. 

Team Sty­romeal was cho­sen to rep­re­sent the Stamps School at the BDC Sum­mit and will com­pete against 51 teams from 20 coun­tries around the world. The Stamps team con­sists of Erin Wal­ski (BFA 22), Aprill Park (BS in Biopsy­chol­ogy, Cog­ni­tion and Neu­ro­science with a minor in Art & Design 21), Bai­ley Yonkman (BFA 22), and Jenny Li (BFA 21).

Team Sty­romeal will present their con­cept for using meal­worms for sty­ro­foam recy­cling; their pro­posed method entails feed­ing poly­styrene to meal­worms that are then sold as fish­ing bait. 

The Stamps School’s team, led by Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor Deepa Butoliya Ph.D, devel­oped their idea for Sty­romeal in Butoliya’s BioDe­sign Com­pe­ti­tion course, where stu­dents worked in teams of 4 – 5 through­out the win­ter semes­ter. The course chal­lenged stu­dents to think about how their project could make an impact on soci­ety and culture.

Though we have been work­ing in phys­i­cal iso­la­tion, this is the most glob­ally con­nected our com­mu­nity has ever been. BDC par­tic­i­pants are from 51 schools and 20 coun­tries. Judges, spon­sors, and com­mu­nity mem­bers across the globe have worked to sup­port stu­dent growth. And because of you, we can cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of our stu­dents and alumni while simul­ta­ne­ously cri­tiquing biotech­nol­ogy,” said Daniel Grushkin, founder and direc­tor of the Biode­sign Chal­lenge about this year’s event.

Learn more about the Biode­sign Chal­lenge (BDC) and about their first book, cel­e­brat­ing the first five years of biode­sign projects.