Borderless Education amid the Pandemic
Our goal is to offer free-of-charge, easy-to-access, and accurate synthetic biology information to the general public by targeting different age group audiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people and businesses all over the world to take on other routes. The traditional way of educational interaction has also been challenged; with that, CCU_Taiwan has the valuable chance to explore the potential of online education and contribute to the academic community without borders.
Picture Book for Children & Parents
|To raise awareness of superbugs among 6- to 8-year-old children, CCU_Taiwan decided to create a parent-children picture book –The War on Germs– with plots and graphics designed to promote hygiene while introducing our local culture to an international platform. Our team hopes to raise awareness of superbugs and emphasize how misusing medication substances could cause drug resistance bacteria.|
|We combined the local Da Shi Ye (大士爺) culture–in Minhsiung, Chiayi County, Taiwan, where CCU_Taiwan is located–into our picture book. Our team hopes to embody the spirit of Da Shi Ye and create solutions to tackle the superbugs problem. In the picture book, we used the righteous image of Da Shi Ye as the main character who is the great hero to combat superbugs.|
Picture Book Reader Survey
We created an educational picture book–The War on Germs–with a total of 23 language translations to raise the superbugs awareness among children and their parents while introducing the unique local Da Shi Ye (大士爺) culture. Our team conducted a survey to collect readers’ feedback and comments.
The survey generated 429 responses without data replication. The surveyed results positively responded to the book content (science communication combined with local unique culture) and also raised the audience's awareness on the superbug issue.
Impact Beyond Taiwan
|The superbug crisis has become a global emergency. Urgent actions are needed. It is necessary to educate the public on such issues and advocate the accountability of using antibiotics. Therefore, our collaboration goal is to translate this picture book into as many languages as possible to disseminate the ideas from CCU_Taiwan. With that vision in mind, we collaborated with 20 iGEM teams translating the picture book, offering a total of 23 languages to promote our idea beyond Taiwan.|
Click the buttons for more language versions
Online Science Courses for Middle School Students
In the Taiwanese mandatory education curriculum, fifth and sixth grade students start to get a glimpse of Science and Technology as a general overview course. In 7th grade, first-year junior high students are required to take Biology as an independent course, but many students have difficulties dealing with science curriculum. CCU_Taiwan decided to provide a science program to bridge the knowledge gap between sixth graders and seventh graders.
The course content would be based on the basic concepts of synthetic biology, including a basic knowledge of genes and cytology. We designed the course as a dialogue between two people to guide students and use simple metaphors to understand the course quickly.
Free Platform for Self-learning
However, due to Taiwan’s sudden COVID-19 outbreak in May, we switched our plans and held a real-time online class for synthetic biology. Meanwhile, we upload our courses onto YouTube and LearnMode, an online teaching platform, to provide free resources for self-learning for everyone.
YouTube Channel: CCU Taiwan iGEM Team
Click here to watch the video.
LearnMode: Online-Learning Platform
To allow students to learn more freely, we uploaded the science videos to a well-known free learning platform in Taiwan. In addition, we also provide students with additional online homework to immediately verify what they have learned in class and achieve the review effect.
Publicity for different age groups
Podcast: 20-Minute Bio with Aiden Lo
A high school podcaster–Aiden Lo- invited our team to his 20-Minute Bio with Aiden Lo. Through two episodes, we talked about our motivation for participation, our project, how we conduct multidisciplinary collaboration, and most importantly–how we engaged with synthetic biology as high school students.
Recording the two episodes made our team reflect on the value of the iGEM competition as a competition and a platform to get together creative people to cultivate and fulfill their ideas.
Social media: Instagram & Facebook
We use social media such as Instagram and Facebook to promote synthetic biology and our project, targeting different age groups. The younger user population tends to be using Instagram. We use pictures to present and promote our project and also provide synthetic biology knowledge. On the other hand, by targeting a broad spectrum of audiences on Facebook, we upload data and pictures to show the current progress of our project. We also uploaded part of the experimental results for those interested in science. We hope to let more people understand the impact of synthetic biology in life by sharing it on social media.
To raise awareness of the seriousness of superbugs issues among the general public in a creative an entertaining way, our team filmed a series of Soap Operas based on our project–We Don’t Like Germs 天下除菌心– was performed in Taiwanese, a language spoken natively by about 70% of the population of Taiwan (especially the older generations).
The soap opera attracts the audience's attention with a dramatic plot. We followed the spirit of Taiwanese soap operas and kept each episode under 5 minutes to promote our project and educate the public about superbugs and the proper use of antibiotics. We filmed five episodes, introducing MRSA, AMPs, CPPs, the right antibiotics, and knowledge of superbugs. We have uploaded the videos to our YouTube channel to reach a broader audience with Chinese and English subtitles. Click here to watch We Don’t Like Germs.