THE STAR CENTER Microscope Silhouette Clipart

 Rules and Regulations


Don’t light yourself on fire.

 If you break it you buy it.

We really don’t like this rule. Truth is, accidents happen. However, if any equipment is broken/severely damaged and the cause of the accident is determined to be a result of neglect of any other rule, then we will charge you whatever it cost us to buy it (as compensation).

Anti-discrimination policy

We will not tolerate any rude, crude, or socially unacceptable behavior. Just be nice and do science. Violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis but will likely result in revocation of membership.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, just ask.

Proper use of equipment and materials is critical to the safety and success of our members. For each piece of equipment you wish to use, you must undergo a short training seminar with one of our team members. Violation of this rule is very serious and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

The golden rule

Do not be disrespectful of any person or their ideas. Respect people’s property and leave the space as clean as it was when you found it. Food/Drink is not allowed in laboratory space. We want to allow free exploration and tinkering, so please do not abuse this privilege by doing something you shouldn’t be doing

When you can come

Members are allowed in the facility only during open hours when a member of the star center team is present. Students attending a camp, class, or event are allowed in the facility during the pre-determined hours for that event.  

Conditions of membership


All full description of all biosafety levels and general biosafety may be found here:

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition

This handbook exists in order to protect you, the facility, the community, and the environment. Anything can be dangerous if not used appropriately. To obtain membership, you must thoroughly read and understand these guidelines.

Because we recognize that all of our members are minors, we want to establish upfront that the legal liability will fall upon the parent or guardian of the member. However, the obligation to follow the rules and the safety guidelines? That falls on you. Most of this is common sense.

At the STAR Center, we don’t want to have to regulate any of your awesome ideas. As such, as long as the experiment you are doing is deemed safe and meets these requirements, we’re not going to slow you down.

In the Lab:

For studies involving vertebrate animals ISEF has specific rules about the type of studies that may be conducted at a non-regulated research site (home, school, farm, ranch, in the field, etc.). These projects are limited to:

In addition, you can conduct your vertebrate animal study at a non-regulated research site ONLY if each of the following applies:


In the STAR Center:

The STAR Center exists (mainly) for two types of people. A) Students (usually younger) who want to learn more about the process of science while getting hands on experience. For them, we offer classes. B) Students (usually older) who want to experiment and innovate have the opportunity to participate in a project group (more on that below) or perform individual research projects. As an aside, we also plan to have robotics and for use.

Project Groups

A project group is like a club for a specific type of science experiments. So we have a medicine project group, and an ecology project group (among others) in which a student can participate in subject relevant challenges, hear from experts, and learn more about the details of that field. This would be a great way to get inspired for an individual research project.


We’re offering classes for younger students (Everyone is welcome, but the teachers are high school students, and are NOT experts. We’re passionate and educated, but have basically no formal lab training). The classes will be provided in the most cost-effective manner, with some being free and others charging a small fee to cover equipment costs.

Research projects

For students who want to push their limits and experiment with science, we offer a truly unique experience. Free range of not one but TWO science facilities featuring lots of really neat equipment. And unlike school, we don’t have a set plan for what you are supposed to do. If you have an idea, go for it. You might want to run it by a Team Member, though. If you’re a student researcher, or working on a science fair project, you fall under this category.


Q: If I’m a member at the Georgetown location, am I also a member at the Lexington location?

A: Basically, yeah. However, in order to use the equipment, you’ll have to sign another waiver. Also, because the equipment is different, you’ll have to go through another Safety Training Session. But, if you pay the membership fee, then yes, you’ll have access to both facilities.

Q: What if I need to leave my experiment out overnight?

A: Obviously, we’ll try and work with you to find a safe place for it to lay undisturbed. There should be plenty of space. However, like we already mentioned, if something bad happens, IT IS NOT OUR FAULT!

Q:  Can I be in a project group, do a research project, and take a class, all at once?

A: Absolutely! For newbies to DIY Bio, however, we do suggest that you pick one to start with.

Q: What exactly is the “Safety Training Procedure”?

A: We want to show you where all the important stuff is, give you your new member packet, etc… During the training, to save time, we’d also like to show you how to use the equipment. It would be advisable to go ahead and take the training for as many pieces of equipment as you can, as time permits.

Q: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A: What type of question is that?