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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.