From Beginner to Expert!
All of the Education & Science Communication initiatives were developed for three different audiences based on their base knowledge when it comes to synthetic biology. The overall idea is to tailor synthetic biology content to different types of groups.
We decided to use our social media platform to reach a broader audience and expose others to synthetic biology. Since social media can reach anyone with different backgrounds knowledge of synthetic biology or just sciences in general, we thought that creating fun and easy educational post would benefit our audience.
Word of the Day
The ï¿½Word of the Dayï¿½ initiative provides users with a new word every week. The idea is to help beginners rapidly expand their vocabulary using terminology commonly used by synthetic biologists, biochemists and researchers in general. It also allows the user to come across the terms that are commonly used in Astroyeast iGEM project and thus help one gain a better understanding of our iGEM project.
Figure 1: Samples from the collections of our Instagram Guide
Did You Know?
The Did You Know initiative seeks to expose a general audience to diverse scientific topics ranging from biology to space exploration. In these weekly publications, we feature discoveries, researchers, and history. The facts of this ScienceComm initiative are accompanied by a mini-article that intends to incite the public to read more on these topics providing them trustworthy sources for them to explore these concepts.
Figure 2: Samples from the collections of our Instagram Guide
Let SynBio Wow You
The Let Synbio Wow You initiative is a weekly educational publication aiming to feature synthetic biology projects through public-friendly posters. The chosen projects are described in short sentences accompanied by relevant illustrations to provide the general public with an insight on the fascinating accomplishments. The concept and aesthetics work as a whole to captivate and educate the general public efficiently, adapting to the fast-paced lifestyle nowadays.
Figure 3: Samples from the collections of our Instagram Guide
The Leaders in Synthetic Biology initiative aims to promote and celebrate innovative scientists in the field of synthetic biology. Scientists and entrepreneurs are featured biweekly, alongside a short text describing their work and contributions to synthetic biology, as well as to science communication. By highlighting the exceptional work of these individuals, we hope to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Figure 4: Samples from the collections of our Instagram Stories
SynBio Bulletin Blurbs
The SynBio Bulletin Blurbs initiative are summary posts that highlight relevant Synthetic Biology papers. The chosen articles introduce basic concepts and pertinent work to the audience of our social media platforms to garner more interest towards Synthetic Biology while also providing insight in a more relaxed and approachable manner.
This unique form of science communication is an outlet for displaying interesting and important work in the field of Synthetic Biology. These posts allow for our followings to connect theoretical concepts to real-life applications. This avenue also enables our audience to be exposed to various Synthetic Biology journals. By utilizing new avenues we were able to create an easily accessible guide that provides a crash-course to Synthetic Biology 101!
Figure 5: Samples from the collections of our Instagram Guide
The Pop Quiz! initiative consists of interactive media that allows us to engage with our audiences on social media platforms. The posts utilize the question and answer features on various social media to quiz our followings on relevant Synthetic Biology concepts as well as basic theoretical concepts in regards to our project. The built-in analytics of the social media platforms were then used as monitoring avenues to assess whether previous material was communicated properly as well as the level of background knowledge of our target audience.
These posts serve as a tool to gauge the level of reception of our previous posts while also gauging the level of engagement with our posts. Distributing scientific material through social platforms can often feel like a one-layer form of communication. These posts allowed us to bridge the gap and allowed for two-way communications between us and our audience.
Figure 6: Samples from the collections of our Instagram Stories
While full guides provide extensive details and are helpful, our team believes that one-page cheat sheets highlighting the key points of a particular subject can be beneficial and less daunting to go through.
Your Research, 3-Min Cheat Sheet
A 3-Minute Thesis can be challenging for anyone, especially when your research has taken hours of work and the academic paper is numerous pages long. To be able to condense everything into 3 minutes and get your point across to your audience takes some practice, which is why we created a summary sheet with some tips that students can quickly consult.
Scientific Presentations Cheat Sheet
Presenting plays a major role when defending a thesis or attending conferences. However, many undergraduate students do not have the opportunity to develop these skills in advance. For this reason, we decided to make a fun cheat sheet for students to use in order to better organize their presentation content and some tips to consider when presenting.
SynBio For All Events!
As a rapidly-growing multidisciplinary field, synthetic biology has become one of the most promising areas of research for the development of new technology, with applications across various domains. Given the importance and relevance of research in synthetic biology, it is critical to educate the general public and students about the future directions that research is taking. Most schools neglect to acknowledge the multidisciplinary aspect of modern scientific research, making synbio events a wonderful way to introduce students to the large diversity of fields that make up synthetic biology and expand their horizons.
Synbio Scavenger Hunt
We are hosting a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt open to the public where students will try to solve riddles and find hidden clues related to general knowledge in synthetic biology. After solving all the questions, the winner will be awarded of a Canvas kit and a Zero to GE Hero book provided for us by our sponsor Amino Biolabs. This event is friendly to all age-groups, and aims to foster an inviting insight into the field of synthetic biology.
Figure 7: Visit our Instagram page to see updates about the event
Biology Department Biosciences Research Seminar series
As part of our science communication attempts, we were fortunate enough to talk about our project at Concordia University's Bioscience Seminar series. Here, we discuss our project in great detail, giving a roughly 45 minute talk about the development of our project over its entire lifespan. The target audience was graduate students and professors, meaning that the content had to be technical and well explained as they are experts in their respective fields. This was challenging as most of our communication efforts are targeted towards beginners in the field, not experts. Additionally, there was a question and answer period after our talk, meaning that we had to be prepared to be able to answer anything on the fly as we didn't know the kind of questions that would be asked.
Figure 8: Weekly seminar at the department