Seminar Bingo

The goal of seminar bingo is to encourage students to attend seminars, recognize key concepts and methods, and challenge them to ask questions. This is also a good way to help students pick up on themes and trends that will help them navigate the scientific community successfully.

  1. Generate a list of 25 terms. See example card and following for ideas. Pro-tip 1: A great way to prime the pump is to jot down ideas from seminars you are attending. Pro-tip 2: One term can be “YOU ask a question”
    • What methods or reagents would you like students to recognize immediately?
    • What important biological concepts should they be aware of?
    • What kinds of data analyses / presentation methods?
    • What naming conventions or special terminology?
    • What social norms should they be aware of?  
  2. Use an online bingo card generator (e.g., “”) to populate a card with your terms. These sites create multiple cards with your terms randomly distributed.
  3. Take screenshots of cards and print out for your students. Suggest that students ask senior colleagues to explain terms they don’t know, research the terms themselves, or ask you!
  4. Players take cards to seminars and mark squares when speakers use a bingo term.
  5. When someone gets a bingo (e.g., a row of 5), organize a Ceremony and Award. Our lab uses $10 Amazon gift cards and hammers the signed winning card into the wall with our ceremonial rubber mallet. Ask the winner to explain the winning terms. Bonus points if they remember the context!

When a term is used, write the speaker’s name in the relevant square. Multiple speakers may use the same term but players only need to catch at least one occurrence. A single speaker may also fill multiple squares if they use multiple bingo terms.

Sample seminar bingo card with some filled squares