BNU-China's education session mainly carried out in 7 aspects, namely family education, school education, community education, regional education, social education, special education and future education to nurture a multi-level and all-round interactional education system. We have established long-term contacts with various organizations and individuals. In particular, we have designed customized materials for people in different ages and people with special needs. By giving people the right insights on the products and applications of genetic engineering, we sincerely hope that we can benefit people around the world and contribute our humble strength in the field of synthetic biology!
———Family Science Training Camp
Education is an important part of iGEM competition. The Family Science Training Camp is an external publicity project set up by BNU-China team in 2021 to promote genetic engineering and synthetic biology for middle-aged and elderly people. Students who are interested in genetic engineering and synthetic biology, and are willing to disseminate knowledge of this field to the public are all warmly welcomed. In order to ensure the quality of knowledge publicity, 2021 BNU-China provided a series of online training courses and corresponding materials concluding four sections for students participated, the safety of genetically modified crops, the gene therapy, the ethical issues behind gene editing and brief introduction of the synthetic biology.
After taking a series of great training courses in the camp, students went back home to teach their elder family members about the basic knowledge of genetic engineering and synthetic biology, in the hope of granting public a more scientific and accurate comprehension on this particular topic.
In the end, a total of 135 families from more than 21 provinces in China participated in our program. The short video below shows students' science popularization process and their elder family members’ understanding of genetic engineering and synthetic biology after listening to the science popularization.
By using the power of the younger generation to implement the science popularization to the elder generation, we sincerely hope that we can involve more people in synthetic biology. We are dedicated to give people the right insights into the products and applications of genetic engineering, strengthen the publicity of synthetic biology in a new, friendly, acceptable and more comfortable way, and therefore contribute our humble strength in the field of synthetic biology!
———Volunteer Teaching Teams
This summer vacation, BNU-China embarked a journey in assisting numerous voluntary teams from Beijing Normal University who planned to conduct voluntary teaching programs in areas with backward education. This idea popped out when we received the needing call from several voluntary team leaders. They expressed their urgent needs for involving synthetic biology to broaden their teaching contents.
After learning this, we immediately began to contact more voluntary teaching teams to find out if they have similar needs. Living up to our expectations, we got in touch with 25 voluntary teaching teams from BNU, scattering in 13 provinces in China with our unremitting efforts.
We have reached a consensus on developing an effective way to implement our education and publication with the voluntary teaching teams. In details, we would provide a series of publicity materials such as science popularization brochures, postcards and an vividly animated video explaining the basic knowledge of synthetic biology and their biology teachers would set up a special class for teaching.
Although most of the voluntary education activities were canceled due to the local rebound of the COVID-19 epidemic, successfully we still received excellent feedback from three volunteer teaching teams in Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.
According to the feedback of teachers and students participating in this activity, we are glad to find that our efforts have paid off and they have harvested fruitful knowledge of synthetic biology. This also reminds us to explore more innovative ways to carry out education under special circumstances.
———Q&A box +
When one of our members participated in a social volunteer activity organized by the Ivy League Institute for sustainable development of Xicheng District in Beijing, the organizer expressed their needs for popularizing scientific knowledge in their community. After learning their needs, we got in touch with the organizer immediately. After careful negotiation, we have tacitly carried out a long-term cooperation activity named Q&A box +.
We set up an Answer box filled with cards with synthetic biology knowledge designed for children over 6 years old in more than 10 communities. To make it more attractive and compelling to kids, we drew lovely cartoons on the cards and folded the cards into cute shapes with the hope that it can better convey the knowledge to children in the community.
Aiming at encouraging children to think independently, we also set up a Question box in each community. People who are interested in synthetic biology or other biological problems in life can write on the card and put it in the box.
We will go to the community every month to carry out popular science activities, such as teaching, conducting Q & A activities, making clay models etc. At the same time, we will recycle the cards in the Question box to make a better preparation for the subsequent courses.
We have edited a video to show the whole process of our activity.
This is a form of interactive education characterized by flexibility, universality, stimulation, encouragement and diversity. We sincerely hope that not only can it bring knowledge to children, also it can enhance their ability to think independently at the same time.
———Dialects and National Languages
China is an enormous country consists of a vast population from different regions and nationalities who speaking different languages. Those languages include Mandarin, dialects and ethnic languages. To break through the language barriers, and create an easier way to disseminate the knowledge about synthetic biology for people living in remote and ethnic minority areas, BNU-China held a “Dubbing Project”. Anyone who is willing to dub for our science video concerning synthetic biology in their own languages is warmly welcomed. More than 60 people are appealed to our project and we have received different versions in a totally 26 kinds of languages.
You can switch different audio tracks with the mouse to watch videos with different languages.
———Public Question Email and Enterprise Science Popularization into Campus
Public Question Email
Confusions often exist among the public in the field of synthetic biology, for example the safety of genetically modified crops. To unveil the mystery, one common choice for a majority of people is to surf on web. However, given the accuracy of contents on the Internet are not authoritatively guaranteed, which may leads to misunderstanding for the public to comprehend the information. As a result, we have created a public question email aiming at providing the public with a brand new way to address their problems in a more scientific way.
We encourage the public to send us any confusions on their minds about biology in their lives by email. We will check this email every month to collect the problems and try to solve them. We will give feedback to people who ask questions through email and provide free access of guaranteed knowledge and references for anyone who is craving to acquire the knowledge.
Our email: BNU-China2021@163.com
Feel free to contact us! Your problems will become a driving force for others to get more knowledge and for us to enrich the contents and forms of science popularization.
Enterprise Science Popularization into Campus
For human practice, one staff of Yakult company told us that their company has long been committed to carrying out popular science activities of intestinal microorganisms in universities, communities, etc. After carrying out a further communications about their previous activities, the manager asked if we have interest in holding a lecture on intestinal microorganisms and synthetic biology at Beijing Normal University. It is undoubtedly a rare form of popular science to hold professional lectures by enterprise technology R&D personnel. With our joint efforts, we held a large-scale lecture attended by more than 60 people.
The enterprise personnel mainly explained the scientific research of intestinal microorganisms, the role of intestinal microorganisms in disease and treatment, common fermented drinks and their correct selection methods. Students actively interacted with the speaker and raised their own questions during the whole process.
After the lecture, we interviewed several participants. They expressed in chorus that people can gain a lot of knowledge concerning science and life in such interactive scientific activities.
———Braille and Sign Language
We live in the same world and have equal rights to study and receive education. In order to enable more people to be involved in the field of synthetic biology, we pay special attention to the education of special groups such as people with audio or visual impairments.
By designing a booklet on synthetic biology in Braille, we sincerely hope that this book can light up their lives with more scientific knowledge.
Considering the limitations of sign language in popular science for people with audio impairments, we invited professionals to help us record and interpret the sign language videos of introduction to synthetic biology, thereby provide materials for other popular science teams, so as to promote popular science activities for more people.In addition, we contacted a friend with audio impairment and he shared his feelings about the video. He affirmed our efforts and made another video to show his support for us.
In view of the diversity of professional backgrounds of our team members, we cooperated with Beijing Normal University Education Group to develop a series of biology, computer science and art education courses. In July, 2021, our team began to work on curriculum design. Since July 2021, we have successfully listed in two schools and set up a course. With the cooperation and exchange with Beijing Normal University Education Group, seven courses have entered the initial development stage. In addition, five members of our team participated in the teaching practice of the group, and led the students to carry out the scientific research of the synthetic biology. We hope that from curriculum design to curriculum implementation, synthetic biology can be smoothly integrated into students' daily study, and students' interest in science will be cultivated subtly.See entrepreneurship.