Team:PuiChing Macau/Education

The overall timeline of our Human Practice, Education & SDG events

⭐ Please click the buttons below to show detailed information ⭐

Synthetic Biology Course

This year, we officially registered as a society in our school. In this community, students learn theory and knowledge related to synthetic biology, then undergoing several practices, our students are able to have a try on our iGEM experiment. This course was planned to be organised last year but due to the regulations of the COVID-19 pandemic we are not able to organise this course regularly in our school.

Figure 1a. Our team leader is having lessons with our team members

Here is our course curriculum organised by a group of students, including our Team leader Alisa, Laboratory director Chloe and the Assisted Laboratory Director Elly which are also being the speakers of this course. In a 4-month time, we have covered several topics including the basis of biology, synthetic biology, chemistry, lab skills … Also, Our class has invited different experts to have zoom sharing with us. Professors Chan from NanJing University and Mr. Edison Ong, a staff from a Belgian pharmaceutical company, have been sharing with us about current vaccine’s technology.

By listening to the positive response from our students, we are going to have this course in the following year. We would still use this platform to develop more talented and passionate students in synthetic biology. The aim of the training programme in school is to let students get prepared before joining the iGEM team, which is important for us to have more skillful laboratory students. So, We would like to expand our class into 40 students in order to let all potential freshmen be developed. Next year, we will open our courses to junior students.We aim to let the juniors develop their interests earlier and nurture them becoming the future iGEMers.

Figure 1b. The Lab work section in the Synthetic Biology Course
Figure 1c. The Lab work section in the Synthetic Biology Course

TDM Television Programme


A local television company filmed a video of us to introduce the iGEM competitions and our previous projects to the public.

Figure 2a. Interviewing with our Principal Investigator and Team Leader
Figure 2b. Interviewing with our Principal Investigator and Team Leader

In these 16 minutes, it introduces when and how we have built up an iGEM team in a high school. We faced lots of difficulties in the first year, such as lack of experienced instructors, resources and team members because seldom people knew about iGEM before. After three years of participating in the competition, we have already done lots of promotion work in the society, and more people know about what we are doing. What we want to express in this video is that participating in the iGEM competition establishes student’s correct values by contacting different fields of society. Furthermore, what we learned last year was that time is precious. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were not able to access the laboratory for 3 months. We were concerned about our progress in the experiment section, also worrying that the time left was not enough for finishing the project last year. Therefore, time is precious, we have learned a lesson and this year, we have made more plans and considered whether a lockdown will happen again and how this will affect our progress.

Figure 2c. The Hotel staff introducing the application of eco-friendly materials in their hotel room

The Detergent Workshop

In September, we hosted a detergent workshop for primary students - utilizing fruit peels into useful detergents. During the workshop, we have taught them the concepts of food waste utilization, environmental protection, and Bio-genetic Engineering, which is exactly what our project aims to tackle. On the other hand, we want to get their interest in iGEM while we are using a more fun way to elaborate what synthetic biology is at all.

Figure 3a. The detergent workshop held in the school laboratory

Throughout this workshop, students may not be familiar with some basic experiment tools, such as balance and glass rod. Also how to instruct them to follow steps and listen to our instructions. We had made a work distribution chart and a detailed proposal and promotion materials of our entire workshop.

We had separated the workshop into three parts. First, we had a simple introduction about us - iGEM, our team and our project. We told them we are going to transfer food waste into bioplastics, which is an environmentally friendly material. Then, introducing our team members by department, telling them that we are welcomed to students with different strengths.

Second, we started to make the handmade detergent.The detailed steps are shown in the proposal. The ingredients we used are the brown sugar, pineapple peel and water. The pineapple peels that we used are collected from a local fruit shop in the food waste collecting programme [HP04 Food Waste Collecting Programme]

Figure 3b. The detergent workshop held in the school laboratory

Lastly, we have introduced our experiment device to them, as well as Centrifuge and PCR, guiding them to understand how an iGEM experiment would be conducted. Teaching students with the laboratory rules, such as eating and drinking is not allowed, wearing gloves properly ... which was a unique experience for them as they seldom have the opportunity to access the laboratory.

Figure 3c. Our team members are introducing the PCR machines to the students

In addition, we have a Q&A section in order to test their knowledge. We have prepared gifts with our team mascots by our designer team. We are glad to see our students' enjoyment and their parents' positive feedback in our event.