Team:HK GTC/Communication

HK_GTC 2021 Homepage


Education and Communication

Educational sharing session

From our survey results and our interviews, we realized that secondary students lack knowledge regarding the severity of plastic pollution and related government schemes that aim to reduce waste. We have also observed from the survey data that secondary students are not environmentally friendly in general and do not take initiatives in learning more about plastic pollution or environmental conservation.

From our survey question, we found out that almost half of the students have not heard of the plastic-eating bacteria.

In response to this, our team held a live educational sharing session on 15 Sep 2021 for 240 Grade 7 and 8 students of our school, G.T. College. We have chosen Grade 7 and 8 students as they have a basic knowledge of biology and some of the students may have participated in our plastic tagging activity and filled out our survey. Therefore, they can get to know more about how they do in the survey and what happens before and after the plastic tagging process.

We aim to introduce plastic-eating bacteria, raise students’ awareness about plastic pollution, share advantages of enzymatic degradation, promote the 4Rs (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle) and promote government schemes on plastic pollution. Therefore, we have prepared a PowerPoint including details about the process of genetic engineering and our chimeric proteins, the plastic tagging process and results and our survey findings. Also, we have added videos throughout our presentation to make our sharing more diversified and attractive. On top of that, we have added interactive activities such as finding plastics in a photo, suggesting plastic alternatives and determining whether different plastic products are recyclable. Finally, we had a Kahoot session at the end.

Moreover, we have invited the Cornell iGEM team to provide a video explaining what iGEM is and sharing content of their project. We hope that the students can gain knowledge about the iGEM competition and explore various iGEM project topics.

Response from students

The entire sharing session was very smooth in general and the students were cooperative most of the time. We have observed that the students remained quiet and concentrated during the sharing of our own project content. They were also focused when watching the videos of plastic pollution and recycling. This shows that our presentation content may be new to these students and they are willing to learn new information related to plastic pollution or environmental conservation.

Furthermore, in the interactive activities, students were very energetic and took the initiative to answer questions. Many students were putting their hands up to answer our question of suggesting plastic alternatives. Most students were able to name commonly used products like reusable bags and stainless steel straws. However, some students were able to name elements like PLA (polylactic acid) which shows that most of the students do pay attention to eco-friendly products in their daily lives and some may have more advanced knowledge in topics like plastic substitutes. For the questions of determining whether different plastic products are recyclable, most of the students answered the questions correctly and only around two students answered incorrectly. From this section, we can see that students did listen carefully to our explanation of different plastic types. However, some of the students may not be familiar with the materials for different plastic products.

Lastly in the Kahoot session, the students were really active and responsive. We observed that most students were quite confident in their answers and it only took them 3 to 5 seconds to answer each of our questions. We have reviewed the quiz results and found that most of the questions had 70% or above students answered correctly which shows that the students do have a basic knowledge about plastic pollution and our project after the session. However, some students are still not that familiar with some daily observations such as colour for plastic recycling bins in Hong Kong and scientific processes such as the breakdown of MHET and the sequence of transcription and translation.

96% of students paid attention to our presentation and answered our focused plastic type, PET correctly.

87% of students were aware of the combination of enzymes used in our project which is PETase and MHETase and answered the question correctly.

Only 43% of students answered the question about the colour of plastic recycling bins correctly.

Only 26% of students answered the question about the breakdown product of MHET by MHETase, which is TPA correctly.

In the future, we will go more in depth in the scientific contents of our presentation to ensure that students have a better understanding of such topics. Not to mention, we will also promote more about the content of local Hong Kong recycling features to students.

Members of Human Practice team were presenting to the Grade 7 to 8 students.

Students were very eager to win the Kahoot game.

A lot of students were putting up their hands to answer questions.

The top 3 players of the Kahoot game were awarded prizes for their good works.

Students and teachers were listening to our sharing.

Education Materials


From our survey results and past interviews, our team has realised that secondary school students lack environmental awareness and knowledge related to plastic pollution. Therefore, we decided to make an online educational booklet and PowerPoint about plastic pollution and our project PRACTICAL. From this, we can make the content of our project more accessible to the students in Hong Kong. These educational materials are sent to all secondary schools in Hong Kong and will be uploaded onto our partner Plastic Free Seas’s website to further promote this innovative method of enzymatic recycling and allow our work to reach a bigger audience.


We introduced places with serious plastic pollution problems especially near the coastlines in Hong Kong such as Lantau Island. We also listed out some data and cases which show how plastic pollution is bringing major harm to animals and the environment around us. By showing the trend of plastic pollution from the past to the future and the above information, we wish to bring the severe consequences and negative impacts of plastic pollution into the public’s eye and arouse students’ awareness.

Moreover, we thought about how students can contribute to solving plastic pollution. In response to that, we promoted the 4Rs principle which includes reuse, reduce, recycling and refuse. In order to further deepen students’ knowledge on plastic materials itself, we have gone through the plastic types and their application. Furthermore, the government schemes to tackle the plastic problems, such as producer responsibility schemes and the reverse vending machines were also included. As a result, we can provide different perspectives on how us as students, the government can tackle plastic pollution.

Most importantly, we introduced and promoted our project PRACTICAL, including our findings — dual enzyme systems and AI plastic detection model. Going into the topic of synthetic biology, we explained the genetic engineering process and our experiment procedures like PET film digestion. Therefore, students can visualize the process and understand our work thoroughly. We have shown SEM and HPLC data and results as a reference to show the effectiveness of dual enzyme systems in degrading PET plastic into TPA and EG to make our project more persuasive. For the plastic detection model part, we provided statistics from our trial model training and the photos taken by drones. By comparing the data of the plastic tagged by our model and by our student volunteers, it is proved that our AI model has a high accuracy in detecting PET plastic and is very successful.



Kahoot Results


Follow Us!