New Game from UConn Extension Helps Youth Discover Biotechnology

four scientists with a robot (drawings) with the words Dr. Eugene's Biotech Lab

Youth may not aspire to careers that they can’t visualize or fully comprehend. A new biotechnology game created by UConn Extension, in cooperation with the Learning Games Laboratory at New Mexico State University, allows youth to imagine and explore career opportunities in a biotechnology lab. The game, Dr. Eugene’s Biotechnology Lab, is now available at

The journey to make this game began when UConn 4-H youth pitched game ideas to Extension and members of the NMSU team. The Learning Games Lab then refined these ideas and developed the game, testing it along the way with youth in New Mexico and Connecticut through UConn 4-H programs and Learning Games Lab youth sessions. The resulting game conveys science-based information about biotechnology and gene editing, along with career opportunities in the field. Within the game, players experience the role of an intern in the laboratories of four fictional scientists in an imaginary world.

“Dr. Eugene’s Biotech Lab provides youth with the opportunity to broaden their awareness of biotechnology applications across the agriculture and food industries, enhancing youth exposure and awareness of the many career opportunities available to them in the field,” shares Jen Cushman, UConn 4-H Extension Educator and Game Project Director. “This project recognizes that many careers that today’s youth will pursue are not yet created, and building youth awareness of STEM jobs is critical to their workforce readiness for future careers.”

Dr. Eugene’s Biotech Lab is just one part of this USDA-NIFA-funded project. A second game is being developed for release in 2025.  Two cohorts of youth are participating, and the program includes regular 4-H club meetings, biotechnology education with the instructor, field trips, and game development with the NMSU team. Youth can participate by signing up at

This work is supported by the Food and Agriculture Nonformal Education program, grant no. 2022-68018-36094 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn Extension. 4-H is a community of over six million young people across America who are learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), leadership, healthy living, civic engagement, and life skills through their 4-H project work. Learn more and enroll your child in the UConn 4-H program at