iGEM 2021 Cycle Collaborations
EnviroSpeaks:Team IGEM RUM-UPRM
In iGEM RUM-UPRM, we are aware of how important it is to target the contamination around us using Synthetic Biology as the medium. For this reason, we wanted to hear from other iGEM teams about the different environmental challenges they are facing today. In addition, we asked them to help us create awareness and educate others by designing a poster, presentation, short video, collage or any other creative method that communicates which contaminants are present in their locations, how this affects their surroundings and the population, and/or what can we do to face these challenges.
One of the teams that collaborated with us was iGEM Tec CEM. This is their poster:
Rosalind Chronicles: Teams ULaval, Patras, Thessaloniki and Concordia-Montréal
iGEM Teams ULaval, Patras, Thessaloniki and Concordia-Montréal teamed up for the Rosalind Chronicles Collaboration. This collaboration consists of portraying our female researchers in honor of Women in STEM. We wanted to take a moment to appreciate the contributions of every female member of our IGEM team, given the challenging path that Women in STEM have encountered. Additionally, we had to choose an inspiring female scientist from our team and send a picture of her, including all the other women in our team. The purpose of this was for them to create a final bulletin board with all the pictures and information of the women in IGEM.
STEM Women and Diversity Bulletin Board: Teams ULaval and Concordia-Montreal
This cycle, the iGEM Team ULaval and Team Concordia-Montreal wanted to create a virtual bulletin board describing inspiring women in STEM from across the world to inspire young women in STEM. For this collaboration, we choose Agro. Sol Rosado. She is currently the President of Prabia; a leading agricultural biotechnology company that has always been willing to help us in our journey. Sol is a very hardworking and inspiring woman who we hope serves as a role model for different women throughout the world.
SynBio101 Summer Camp Collaborations: Team IGEM RUM-UPRM
This summer we organized the SynBio101: Summer Camp for the third time, in which we had the opportunity to teach high school students the basics of Synthetic Biology. We held workshops about different aspects of Synthetic Biology, like its importance in our current society and the science behind genetic cloning. During the week we had other IGEM teams as guest speakers, for this, we collaborated with teams: UNAL, Bolivia, and Ecuador. In addition, we had Heber Torres, iGEM’s Latin America Ambassador. They presented their projects to the students and shared their IGEM experiences.
"Assembling the Future": University of Francisco de Paula Santander
In this forum, IGEM RUM had the opportunity to present a summary of their project, sharing experiences and impact within IGEM and networking with other Latin America teams. This conference was directed for students at Universidad Fernando de Paula Santander in Colombia, looking to motivate the creation of an IGEM team at their university. This experience gave us insight into applications of synthetic biology in other countries as proposed solutions to a local problem.
Enzyme Cloning Workflow Webinar: Team IGEM Lambert
This year, team IGEM Lambert offered an interactive webinar to help IGEM teams learn about the restriction enzyme cloning workflow. They shared with us their tips and tricks to guide us with the wet lab aspect of our project. It was definitely an enriching experience since the information provided in this webinar helped us in future laboratory processes, specifically in our restriction enzyme Digestion protocol.
Snacks served with Beer: IGEM UM MACAU
iGEM’s team UM_MACAU offered us the opportunity to collaborate with them in the creation of a photo album of different dishes that go with a beer in different areas of the world. Our team sent a picture of quesadillas with beer; a great way to end our day!
Postal Cards Collaboratorion: IGEM Düsseldorf
This year, iGEM Düsseldorf organized a Postcard Collaboration. Here, iGEM teams from all over the world showed their creativity by designing their postcards, combined with a message about their project. We participated in this collaboration, together with 78 other iGEM teams, and designed our postcard titled “Vieques”, which was inspired by our project and our expected outcome. Here is our team’s postcard:
Human Practices for Design League
During this discussion forum, our Biology Team Leader Valeria presented our team’s project and Human Practices activities to IGEMers from all over the world. These activities included: IGEM RUM Science Fair, High School Internship, SynBio 101 Summer Camp, Inclusivity initiatives and our meetings with stakeholders. After the presentation, there was a Q&A session for the atendees. Many questions were asked regarding how we would measure our project’s impact given its design and validation, recommendations for approaches to stakeholders, implementing feedback from the people in Vieques, responding to negative feedback and facing political issues. After answering all the questions and listening to other speakers’ answers, it gave our team a new perspective on our human practices execution and new things to consider for the future such as how to properly approach Vieques residents when presenting our project.
IGEM Beginners: IGEM Bolivia
This year, IGEM Bolivia created a manual called “IGEM Beginner” with the purpose of unifying iGEM teams and sharing experiences, anecdotes, problems, and everything that is needed to participate in the Giant Jamboree competition. Everything collected by IGEM Bolivia will be in a manual that will serve as a guide for new teams. We decided to collaborate as a team since it is very important for all those who want to start their iGEM trajectory to have support and all the necessary help since we understand that it is not an easy task.
Making Biology more Accessible to Sight Challenged Individuals: Team Crete
As an inclusivity initiative, in conjunction with iGEM Team Crete we did the "Making Biology more Accessible to Sight Challenged Individuals”' collaboration. Paola Maldonado Martinez was a student that participated in our SynBio 101 Summer Camp and became amused by the science of Synthetic Biology and iGEM. Therefore, we invited her to collaborate with us and Crete by writing a Biology-related excerpt so Team Crete was able to translate it into our country’s braille. Through this collaboration, Paola was able to experience the unity of iGEM teams. In addition, we had the opportunity to work with inclusivity, which is a very valuable aspect to our team.
Latin Cinema Collaboration
Our team was also part of the iGEM LATAM FEST! As part of the Latin Cinema initiative, teams from the same country had to come together and present a 15-minute video talking about an assigned topic. The topics of the videos could be food, language, music, traditions or places of interest of our countries of origin. In our case, as we are the only team in Puerto Rico, we work on our own and prepare a video highlighting Puerto Rican music. Through the video, the origin, history, dance and other relevant aspects of the Bomba, Plena and Salsa, typical rhythms of the island, were presented. In addition, two of our companions delighted us with a dance piece. It was a super fun and unique experience because we managed to connect with our roots and we had the opportunity to show other Latin American teams a bit of our culture.