Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find the answers to some frequently asked questions. If your question is not here, or you would like more information, please reach out to info@bugssonline.org.

BUGSS, or the Baltimore Underground Science Space, is a place for people from all walks of life to come learn about and practice biotechnology. We offer classes, access to tools and a community focused on using biotechnology to solve
problems. We believe that biology is the fabrication technology of the future and work to forge connections between biology, art, engineering, and public policy.
BUGSS is located in a refurbished warehouse in East Baltimore at 101 N Haven Street suite 105. Our location is a bit off the beaten path but offers secure parking for evening and weekends.
BUGSS is generally open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 3pm-9pm and Saturday 9am-5pm. If you plan on stopping by to check the place out we recommend contacting us before-hand to insure someone is here to show you around
and answer any questions you may have.
BUGSS is focused on biology and we have a fully equipped wet lab for you to perform a wide variety of molecular biology and synthetic biology experiments. For the most part biology experiments are limited to BSL-1 organisms (see our safety resources pages for more information). In addition to biology lab equipment we also have a selection of 3D printers and are expanding our digital fabrication capabilities. Take a
look at our equipment lists and pictures on our lab resource page.
We recognize that people have a lot of questions about biotechnology. At BUGSS we take the issues of biological and chemical safety/security seriously and have formulated policies and procedures so that comply with all relevant local
and national regulations (see our safety resources page for details). More importantly we recognize that we have an obligation to operate in a manner that reflects our commitment to the
safety and well being of our community and the environment. Questions about BUGSS safety policies and procedures can be addressed to safety@bugssonline.org.

There are many ways to get involved with BUGSS – the simplest way to get involved is to become a member or take a class. Many of our current members started out by taking classes at BUGSS. Our annual membership package offers access
to free and discounted courses, opportunities to participate in BUGSS projects, and access to the wet and dry labs for people to work on their own projects.
For students (High School and College) BUGSS offers deep discounts on membership, opportunities to participate in BUGSS iGEM teams, BUGSS projects, discounted classes, and lab access. Discounted memberships are also available for
teachers and graduate students.

If you’re interested in helping to steer the organization and can make the commitment we are always looking for people with scientific, business, legal, and marketing expertise. Our board of directors is made up of BUGSS members as
well as people from the community. We generally require that prospective BUGSS board members be actively involved with the organization for at least 3 months prior to being nominated for a board position. For information on serving
on the BUGSS board of directors please contact us at info@bugssonline.org.

If you have a particular expertise and would like to teach a course at BUGSS please contact us. We are always looking for ways to expand our course offerings to members and the public. If
you have lab equipment that you no longer need we are always interested in functioning equipment. And if you just want to throw money at us we’ll take that as well (BUGSS is a public charity under section 501 (c)3 of the IRS code and donations are deductible for tax purposes.)

We have a tremendous community of members, volunteers, and supporters. We are always in need of volunteers!
If you are interested in joining us as a volunteer, please sign up for one of our quarterly volunteer orientations. These are always listed on our Eventbrite site, and they help our new participants to get a sense of our overall organization and programs. Can’t make it to the orientation? Email Lisa at lscheifele@bugssonline.org and we can set up an individual meeting. Thanks volunteers!!

You can also support us by making a monetary donation or by purchasing BUGSS merchandise!