Press Releases

Benchling Launches Pioneering Biology Education Initiative

Benchling for Education expands academic market leadership to help teachers working remotely engage the next generation of biotech innovators

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., February 25, 2021  – During a time of unprecedented change in education across the globe, Benchling, the leading life sciences R&D cloud, today announced the launch of Benchling for Education, a free remote learning solution for educators to teach biology courses. The initiative provides an easy-to-use, engaging platform for students of all ages to explore life science and learn from anywhere with the same tools as professional researchers, ensuring quality training for the next generation of scientists.

As schools navigate the sudden switch to remote education, Benchling for Education delivers an accessible, cloud-based tool for educators and students to get hands-on with biology. Students using Benchling for Education can run through a series of self-serve lessons, work in an electronic lab notebook (ELN) and design biological experiments using the same Benchling software researchers use in the lab today, all while learning practical skills that can be applied to a variety of STEM fields.

The platform can be used to supplement lectures, coordinate take-home assignments, and perform and record lab work for asynchronous learning anywhere with an internet connection. Hundreds of educators and educational communities are already introducing Benchling to their students.

"Today's global crises require advanced scientific solutions—preparing students for STEM careers has never been more important," said Dr. Philip Leftwich, a Lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, a public research university in Norwich, England. "At the same time, social distancing and national lockdowns have severely impacted our time in the physical classroom, forcing us to find new ways to make complicated biology and lab protocols exciting and educational. My students use Benchling to work on everything from simulating lab-based cloning to investigations of the Coronavirus genome. It’s been an invaluable resource during this unprecedented time."

The new initiative provides a range of applications that can be used for both in-person and distance learning, allowing teachers to comply with changing local regulations. Benchling for Education features include:

  • A training kit to show educators how to set up and organize a class on Benchling

  • Self-serve lessons that allow students to learn and simulate PCR, cloning and CRISPR gene editing for any fundamental biology curriculum

  • A unified suite of biology design tools for experimental research including restriction digests, primer design, cloning and CRISPR guide design capabilities all on one platform

  • A cloud-based lab notebook for students to collaborate, capture data and share notes

“Historically, the educational community has lagged behind the business world in getting access to the scientific tools and software found in today’s cutting-edge biotechs,” said Saji Wickramasekara, Benchling co-founder and CEO. “We created Benchling to give the next generation of researchers the kind of tools we wished we’d had when we were starting out as scientists. By providing the same tools to educators, we are delivering an advanced scientific learning environment for students, planting the seeds for a new era of scientific breakthroughs.”

The new initiative builds on the existing Benchling for Academics program, which for years has provided research organizations and universities including Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Berkeley with free access to Benchling, empowering over 270,000 researchers to accelerate discovery. In addition, Benchling is actively working with the educational community by providing informative ebooks, webinars and curricula designed to help educators create dynamic learning environments using the Benchling platform.