Team:Estonia TUIT/Education


We believe that learning about complicated processes is most efficient when people can see them and the outcomes in simple experiments. We aim to make learning fun and interactive to encourage people to explore more and to delve deeply into the scientific world.

Our iGEM team takes education as an all year round quest. We have a 5-year experience in carrying out workshops at science fairs and other public events. We take great joy in educating and communicating with people and we have continuously improved our workshops, trying to find exciting approaches to attract people to science and synthetic biology. Our workshops include kiwi DNA extraction, DNA puzzles, chromatography flowers, microscopy, and other experiments. This versatility guarantees that there is something interesting for everyone, including people from all age groups, as the instructors, iGEM team members, are able to explain the scientific processes at a very simple or a detailed level. Furthermore, as Estonia is home to a considerable number of Russian- and English-speaking residents, we carry our workshops out in the three main languages spoken in Estonia to give people of different linguistic backgrounds an opportunity to participate.
We created an online Escape room and quiz that are also included in our wiki. By doing so, we aim to engage a larger audience into our educational processes. Below you can try out the escape room yourself and check your knowledge in the quiz afterwards.

Escape room:

Medical facilities make you feel uncomfortable, don't they? You expect an unpleasant, maybe even painful experience. And sometimes you have an urge to leave immediately, to disappear, to escape… Our team members definitely do. And we designed a game around that feeling. Welcome to Escape Room. You are in the dentist's office. Immediately your teeth start to hurt as if they expect the drilling, scraping... maybe some teeth will stay here forever. The dentist hasn't come yet, and you are alone in the room. You look around and start noticing things that you missed at first. You see a strange toy, it smiles, and you envy its confident smile. You start wandering around the room, and some textbook catches your attention. You open the book and see a spark. You take a UV lamp from the table and use it to search for a secret message… You read: 'SALSASMILE - your shortcut to healthy teeth’. You have never heard of it; you know Salsa hot sauce, even went to a Salsa dancing evening, but nothing about SALSASMILE. You hear the approaching steps, turn around and see a journal article on the benchtop. It states that University of Tartu students develop a new therapeutic strategy against caries that will help people prevent tooth decay. You start to feel joy in your heart. You want to escape and never come back. You run out of the room. A few minutes later, a dentist comes in, he smiles… Everything went according to his plan!’

Escape room rules

This is an online modified version of the escape room that was initially organized during this iGEM season by our team on an Interactive Education event. The plotline is simple: the player arrives at a virtual dentist’s office, where the sick tooth has to be diagnosed and a therapy plan must be set by the dentist. The players have to search for an innovative solution to the problem to escape the cabinet with the best possible outcome. Without innovative solutions, the sick tooth is in danger of being pulled out by the dentist! Hereby, check the rules for the online escape room:

1)Press the “Start” button at the end of this paragraph to open the game on the website.:

2)You need to press objects drawn on the screen inside of the room.:

3)Make sure you complete the task displayed on your left hand side, otherwise the game will not let you move on.

4)After each task you are supposed to get one correct letter, which you have to type in the text box below the task description and then click the button “Submit”. If the letter is incorrect, the background surrounding the image will turn red. If it is correct, then it will turn green and a new task will automatically replace the old one.

5)Keep an eye on the right-hand side as well, as the letters you enter after each task will be saved and displayed there.

Hands-on Workshops

Every educational process flows smoother when students are able to try things out themselves, see the process and understand the outcome. We have set up six different workshops and we are always looking for new ways to visualize natural processes in a catchy and memorable way. With the variety of workshops, we encourage everyone to take part and find their way to delve deep into the scientific processes. The workshops include: DNA extraction from kiwi - the workshop teaches how to extract DNA using detergents and salts and how to visualize it using ethanol.

1)DNA puzzles - teaches the complementarity principle of DNA in a simple way.
2)Traffic lights - a colorful experiment on oscillatory reactions.
3) Chromatography flowers - shows how scientific principles can be used to make art.
4)Pigment extraction - educates on how different compounds can be extracted based on their chemical properties.
5) Microscopy - gives an opportunity to see cells and the structure of plant leaves at the microscopic level.

In 2021, our team organized workshops at seven events. Importantly, our iGEM team members who are supervising the workshops are trained to be able to explain the scientific principles behind the experiments at a very simple level and in great detail, depending on the participant. As the workshops are carried out in three main languages in Estonia, this truly welcomes everyone to participate in our workshops.


We know that our Kahoot! quiz is a love from the first question and we decided to create a modified version for our online guests, so everyone can feel the atmosphere of the fun scientific competition. Always wanted to test your knowledge about synthetic biology and learn something new in the process? We got you covered! Answer eight short interactive questions and feel the atmosphere of our fun and educational event!


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