How to make synthetic biology out of the laboratory and into the public is what we have been thinking about. We try our best to overcome the influence of COVID-19, and finally we made education for people of different ages through various online and offline forms.
To better meet the educational needs of the public, we are publishing our independently-written popularizing article about synthetic biology on SCIENCE 1915, which is the oldest comprehensive scientific publication in China. The article will be officially published in November.
It is a good publicity way to adapt the lyrics and make an music video. We adapted pop music and recorded an MV.
Facing different age levels
As we can see, different ages have different understandings of knowledge, and we have activities of various forms for them purposefully.
Firstly, we gave a lecture for freshmen, we introduced what iGEM is, what synthetic biology is, and our project this year. We hope it can inspire their interest in iGEM and synthetic biology, and encourage them to participate in next year's competition. You can click there to know more about this.
The tidbits of our lecture
Our lecture attracted over 140 freshmen, and it was the first time for most of them know synthetic biology and iGEM. We were very surprised that there were more than 80 people willing to learn more about synthetic biology. We set up a group chat for them to answer their questions more conveniently.
Our group chat for freshmen interested in iGEM
In addition, we held a symposium for some interested students and answered their questions about synthetic biology and iGEM in detail.
The tidbits of our symposium
Offline tie-dye activity
Tie-dye is a traditional dyeing process which influenced the costume culture of many countries. It makes beautiful patterns in a unique technique. We thought it would be a colorful and meaningful education if we could combine tie-dye with synthetic biology. The cold weather did not resist the participants’ enthusiasm, they discussed our project with us, listened the history of tie-dye, made beautiful patterns with creativity.
The tidbits of tie-dye activity
To arouse students’ interest in synthetic biology, we organized a postcard rafting activity. Participants took part in this activity could search for knowledge about synthetic biology according to their own interests, and wrote what they learned or still confused on the postcards.
Students were writing the postcards
After a week of circulation, we collected all postcards. During the activity, everyone can watch the postcards of different participants in the activity and discuss with each other. We organized flash events in various places in our campus and sent postcards to students. At the end of the activity, we answered the unresolved questions based on their feedback and sent gifts for participants.
Some of our collections
For middle school students
On May 22nd, we took part in Lab Open Month Science Popularization Activitiy organized by The Chinese Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Our PI Dr. Wei represented us to introduce the magical microorganisms and recommend iGEM for them. This activity attracted over 300 middle school students from Chongqing No. 1 Middle School, Chongqing Bashu Middle School, Chongqing Foreign Language School, etc.
Pictures of the Lecture
Report of the meeting
To spread awareness of the field of synthetic biology, we gave a lecture for children. Firstly, We introduced what synthetic biology is. We wished to make them learn more about synthetic biology at an early age. In addition, we made some comics to deepen children's understanding. It was glad to learn that children all shew great interest in synthetic biology.
United lectures online
Because of the COVID-19, we could not held enough offline activities, so we gave full use of internet to educate. Also, we thought only one team’s knowledge is relatively single, so we combined our partners to diversify content.
The secret of dye——Education about dyes：
In the previous meetups, we learned that some teams’ projects are related to dyes. We had communications about our projects. Also we wanted to let more people know the secret of dye. Therefore, NWU-CHINA-A, BJU_China, LINKS_China and QHFZ decided to hold a lecture about dyes together.
We designed poster around our different themes
Our specific jobs in this lecture
On September 20, our team introduced the dyeing process to the participants, this course attracted over 200 people’ participate through VooV Meeting and Bilibili. You can click here to learn more about that.
We were introducing the process of dyeing
To evaluate the effect of our lectures, we sent out questionnaires before and after lectures, then we analyzed the data and got optimistic results.
The result for our team's lecture
As we can see, the participants’ understanding of the dyeing process was concentrated on Grade 3, and this number rose to 7.5 after this lecture. (From 0 to 10, the number bigger means the the comprehension higher)
Synthetic Biology in Life
In addition to focusing on dyeing education, we also wanted to introduce synthetic biology’s impact on other aspects of our daily lives. So we hosted the "Synthetic biology in our daily life" course with SZPT-CHINA, Tianjin and TJUSLS_China.
Four parts for this lecture
Pictures of our live
Our team introduced the biological dye for participants. In order to give everyone a better understanding of biological dyes, we also answered online questions at the end of the class. We attracted over 500 people to watch our live broadcast. Our lectures has been watched over 1700 times.
iGEM and synthetic biology
In October, we were happy to accept the invitation of NPU-CHINA and made a presentation for high school students.
NPU-CHINA designed the poster for this activity
We mainly focused on this year's project and got a positive response. Many high school students and college students participated in this lecture.
School students were watching our video
During our investigation, we found that there were few experimental operation videos about iGEM. So we filmed and uploaded videos about basic operation in wet lab. You can click here for more information.
Screenshots of our videos
In order to let more people understand synthetic biology and iGEM, we set up a Q&A column on Bilibili. We answered questions about synthetic biology. After watching the videos we uploaded, you can get the answers in the Q&A column if you are still confused.
Some of our questions and answers
WeChat official account
In our team's WeChat public account, we updated the information of our project and the introduction of synthetic biology. For example, we pushed articles about the application of biosensors and biobricks to our followers, expecting that they could get a better understanding of synthetic biology.