In the process of project promotion, considering that the implementation of the concept of synthetic biology has a long way to go in China, especially in the student groups in the underdeveloped areas of educational resources in the central and western regions. According to the results of our questionnaire, the public does not have a high degree of understanding of new therapeutic tools and novel coronavirus-related knowledge, so we are determined to carry out some educational activities to popularize these knowledge to the public. Therefore, we carried out a series of activities to increase the public’s understanding of synthetic biology and other related knowledge: making educational materials according to different target groups and entering the school to promote, making picture books,cartoons in an interesting and vivid way and publishing popular science content through the network platform. Happily, we got a good response.
At the same time, we realize that only by continuous exchange of learning can we find our shortcomings and learn from experience. During the exchange and discussion, the team can learn a lot of knowledge, and then optimize and improve the experimental projects, which is very precious to us.
1 Education package
In order to popularize the knowledge of synthetic biology better and introduce the two therapies of LZU-CHINA and NMU_China, we plan to collaborate with the NMU_China plan to develop education packages, promote iGEM competition and synthetic biology, help the cause of education.
We targetedly planned education packages for students of different ages from primary school, junior high school and high school. LZU-CHINA has also worked with the Darwin Association of Lanzhou University to carry out educational activities and to use the education package as one of the promotional materials of the Darwin Association of Lanzhou University. At the same time, in order to make the education package have a broader and deeper impact, We also work with NEU_CHINA carried out educational activities in Shenyang No. 20 middle school through team cooperation.
Even if the pandemic separates many iGEM teams, the bridge of communication and cooperation between iGEM teams cannot be blocked. We will also provide educational kits and promotional materials to poorer areas and guide their use. Assist biology education and promote synthetic biology.
Fig.1. PPT cover of education package
Fig.2. NEU_CHINA member introduces COVID-19
2 Environmental education
On September 14,2021, we cooperated with the Darwin Association of Lanzhou University to conduct educational activities on iGEM and our team's experimental projects in the primary school affiliated to Lanzhou University in Gansu Province. Promote iGEM and synthetic biology to students in a preaching way.
We conducted friendly and close exchanges with the students of the affiliated primary schools of Lanzhou University in the course of the presentation. Students responded enthusiastically and actively interacted with members of the LZU-CHINA speech team. This educational activity has not only achieved good publicity, but also increased the biology education of primary school students and the popularization of knowledge about the novel coronavirus.
Fig.3. LZU-CHINA member introduce the experimental project
Fig.4. LZU-CHINA member communicate and interact with primary school students
Fig.5. Students display flags
3 “Cell Factory” picture books
Fig.6. Picture book making discussion Poster
Fig.7. Exhibition of Picture Book Cooperation Team Online Meeting
Sponsored by the NNU-China team, LZU-CHINA, UM_Macau, NMU_China, NWU-CHINA-B, and FZU-China teams worked together to carry out popular science education for children. The six teams discussed the publicity content and the presentation form of the picture book through online meetings. Finally, they decided to make a cartoon picture book entitled "Cell Factory". The content of the picture book is to make the children better accept and understand our experimental project content, CRISPR technology and iGEM competition mainly through vivid ways. Increase children's understanding of iGEM and cultivate interest in synthetic biology.
Fig.8. LZU-CHINA's picture book content
In cooperation with the NMU_China, we visited the team related to SARS-CoV-2 detection in 2020. It was found that the OUC-China team involved CRISPR/Cas system technology in their 2021 project, so we contacted the OUC-China team in the later stage and determined further cooperation. After discussion, according to the characteristics and specialized fields of the two teams, we identified the content of cooperation: co-production of public tweets on the popular science of CRISPR/Cas system technology in the form of cartoons. LZU-CHINA team members are responsible for comic painting, OUC-China team members complete comic script and official account. After the completion of the comic content, the two teams release the comics on their respective team's WeChat public account to promote CRISPR/Cas system technology to the public.
Fig.9. Comics completed by OUC-China and LZU-CHINA
LZU-CHINA team carried out extensive media publicity in the early stage of the project. Publicity of iGEM and team projects and popularization of biological knowledge for the public and people of all ages.
The team created the bilibili account LZU-iGEM in bilibili, China's large video community. The content includes the display video of each team in the Environment section hosted by the LZU-CHINA team in the China Meetup Online meeting conference, the Promotion Video of the LZU-CHINA project, and so on. A total of hundreds of views were obtained, which not only promoted the communication between teams, but also expanded the popularity of LZU-CHINA team and iGEM, and publicized the knowledge of synthetic biology to the public.
Fig.10. Official bilibili account data of LZU-CHINA team
Fig.11. LZU-CHINA Team Official BiliBili Account
Since May 15,2021, LZU-CHINA has established its official public number LZU iGEM on WeChat. As of October 1,2021, a total of 8 tweets were sent, including exchange meetings, project background introduction, project content introduction, team member introduction and cooperation results. In only five months the LZU-CHINA official public account received, a total of 1'008 times of reading, 57 praise, and the number of subscriptions increased steadily. Good social effect and publicity effect were obtained.
Fig.12. Official WeChat public number data of LZU-CHINA team
Fig.13. LZU-CHINA Team Official WeChat Public Number
6.Communication with other teams
1 Northwestern China iGEM Meetup
Fig.14. Northwestern China iGEM Meetup poster
Fig.15. Northwestern China iGEM Meetup online communication
In order to promote exchanges and cooperation between iGEM teams in northwest China, and to communicate project design and progress, NWU-CHINA-A, as the organizer of the event, with the assistance of CCiC, convened a real iGEM team exchange in northwest China. Seven iGEM teams participated in the meeting: LZU-CHINA, NPU-CHINA, NWU-CHINA-B, DUT_China, XJTU-China and NWU-CHINA-A. This online meeting not only strengthens the links between teams, but also helps promote and carry out team projects by sharing experiences and lessons in the process of team communication.
2 The 8th China Regional iGEMer Exchange Conference CCiC
Fig.16. The 8th China Regional iGEMer Exchange Conference CCiC Opening Ceremony
The iGEM team in China jointly held the 8th China Regional iGEMer Conference (CCiC). The offline venue is located in Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Hundreds of iGEMer and thousands of visitors participate in the event through the combination of online and offline. The conference invited representatives from the academic and industrial fields of synthetic biology to make wonderful reports, with a total of 79 iGEM team demonstration projects.
At this conference, the various teams actively demonstrate their project progress and results, the exchange and discussion between the team is also enthusiastic. Many iGEM teams have also obtained valuable suggestions from judges after the project presentation, and then optimized and improved the experimental projects. Our LZU-CHINA team successfully introduced the project and explained the poster, and the experimental design was also unanimously affirmed by the judges. Finally, our excellent performance has also achieved good results in the third place of the group and won an active participation award. It also represents the affirmation of many iGEM teams and judges for LZU-CHINA.
Fig.17. LZU-CHINA team achievements display
3 ICII（into CHINA，into iGEM）
The education cooperation activity "ICII", co-sponsored by NAU-CHINA and CPU-CHINA, which means "into China, into iGEM" and involves 18 iGEM teams from China, including LZU-CHINA, aims to have a greater impact on synthetic biology through the joint promotion of multiple teams throughout China, not only enhanced the friendship between iGEM teams, but also increased communication between iGEM teams in China. We have also produced a video of the lecture, through the iGEM international stage, so that more people can see China's colorful.
4 Communication with BIT
Fig.18. Project exchange with BIT
On July 14, we had an offline communication with the members of the BIT team. We introduced the experimental projects of the two teams and their current progress. During the communication, we put forward some opinions and suggestions on the progress of the BIT team project, such as "can miRNA be directly amplified as a sample?". At the same time, the members of bit team also put forward some suggestions on our current experimental ideas and methods, which made us realize that our design is incomplete. The communication with BIT team makes our experimental design more complete, and we benefit a lot !
5 Short-term exchange
LZU-CHINA initiated short-term sessions prior to the start of the project and conducted exchange sessions with SJTU-BioX-Shanghai, XHD-Wuhan-Pro-China, LZU-HS-CHINA, Think_Edu_China, NJTech_China. During the exchange, we refined and optimized our respective project plans and project descriptions, during which we made some suggestions for improvement. It has helped shape and determined our project plan.