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Biochallenges logoThe 21st Century BioChallenges resources have been developed to facilitate engagement with current issues in biochemistry, focusing particularly on topics related to health and food security. They have been developed by the Royal Society of Biology and funded by the Biochemical Society.


Five topics related to health and/or food security are featured in the 21st Century BioChallenges activities; there are two activities for each topic area – one for over 12s and one for under 12s. These age groups are just a guide; the complexity of all activities can be varied depending on the expertise and confidence of both facilitators and the participants. Each activity introduces participants to new concepts, vocabulary and cutting edge science. The five topics covered are:

  • Stem cells
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • DNA and epigenetics
  • Cancer and other diseases
  • Genetic Modification

Facilitator Guidance Notes

Stem cell Lego at Cheltenham science festival

A free booklet containing guidance notes for running the ten activities at science fairs and other public 'hands-on' events; as a workshop or in a classroom setting can be downloaded from a link below.

The guidance notes provide useful links to additional subject information and details of the reagents and other materials used, safety notes and a risk assessment template.


Fact sheets

To support the activities, A5 fact sheets have been created to cover the five biochemistry topic areas. While the content of these is most suitable for those aged 12, each does include an 'amazing fact' to help engage younger children with the particular topic area. Each also includes a 'meet the scientist' section, featuring a scientist and their research. You can download these resources below for use at events or as part of school lessons or activity days.

Classroom activity ideas

Covering the same ten activities, the classroom activity ideas booklet explains how each activity can be used with a class of school pupils to help young people explore current issues in biochemistry.

Other supporting resources

Some of the activities have ready-to-go supporting resources that can be downloaded below. These include cards, templates and reference charts.

Feedback: participant postcards and facilitator survey

A5 evaluation postcards can be downloaded and we invite facilitators to use these on their stand or enable participants to provide feedback after they have carried out the activity(ies) and to send us completed postcards. We would like to receive facilitators feedback also and have a downloadable facilitator feedback survey for completion after carrying out any of these activities.

Download the 21st Century BioChallenges resources

Facilitator Guidance Notes
Classroom Activity Ideas

Stem cells

STEM CELLS 1: LegoTM cells

STEM CELLS 2: Card matching game (All A6)


ANTIBIOTICS 1: Antibiotic resistance

ANTIBIOTICS 2: Combining antibiotics

DNA and epigenetics

EPIGENETICS 2: Dice roll choices

Cancer and other diseases

Genetic Modification


 Biochemical Society new logo