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Happy STEM New Year: Free, Customizable Virtual Backgrounds from BioRender

As a Happy 2022 gift, BioRender has produced several STEM-related virtual backgrounds for teachers to use in online meetings. All are customizable – you can add and remove objects and insert shapes and text. To edit and save your image you need to sign up for a BioRender account, but the basic plan is free with a storage limit of 5 images. You can always download completed images and delete from the site to free up space for new ones. Here is a screenshot of a few of the new backgrounds (there are many more than this available as starter templates):

I grabbed the mouse cage illustration below and used it in Google Meet today. I’ve been miniaturized and turned into a lab rat!

Being a Lab Rat – Cheryl uses an illustrated perspective of inside a mouse cage from BioRender as a virtual background in Google Meet.

BioRender is a useful resource for creating customized conceptual illustrations and figures for an academic report, paper, lecture or presentation. There are many icons in the BioRender library, including species, lab equipment, human anatomy, chemistry, biology, and symbols/graphs. This is a resource students can use to illustrate a concept as well. But I thought it would also be a fun treat as we start the new semester. Get your classes ready to go and reward yourself with a new background image or two!

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