Education & Communication
On this page, you can read more about our work in the Education and Communication field. You can read about
how we created a compendium for High School Classes and conducted a class for some of the most talented youths in Denmark.
We have had a focus on communication and education of high school students. We chose to create a compendium because we have noticed that many high schools in Denmark lack the means to teach their students in areas like synthetic biology. It is designed to make it easier for high school classes in Denmark and around the world to get familiar with some of the techniques that we often use in the laboratory.
We have created the compendium containing theoretical information about plasmid purification, restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis It also includes a detailed protocol on how to perform the experiments. We also introduced our project and iGEM to show how these techniques can be implemented into solving real world problems. The different protocols in the compendium contain a list of materials and chemicals and most importantly, safety information. We asked our fellow students what they like in a protocol and based on their feedback we made the protocol with three main focuses: purpose, protocol and illustration. The actual protocol is composed of simple instructions and boxes to check off once the steps have been done. This ensures that the students and users of the compendium can keep track of the process.
We invited the Academy of Talented Youth, which consists of high school students from different fields of studies, to join us in the laboratory. We started the afternoon by covering all the theories involved in the laboratory exercises. The theory was coupled with the different practical methods whilst the experiments were performed. The high school students helped us by purifying and cutting the plasmids for our PsiDKM project.
We want to make information about synthetic biology accessible, which is why we have chosen to publish the compendium on our wiki. Furthermore, we got the opportunity to reach out to High Schools all over the country in a newsletter sent out by our university. In this newsletter, we offered our help to educate high schoolers regarding synthetic biology. The primary target audience for our compendium is high schoolers, but it is free to use by anyone who would like to take on the challenge.
Based on the information above, we want to argument that we meet this medal criteria.
We received feedback from the participants; some of these are listed below:
“The laboratory exercises were fun, the quiz was nice, the iGEM participants were excellent
at creating a fun learning environment lastly it was cool to get a souvenir (picture of the gel)”.
“All the steps in compendium were easy to follow”.
“It has been great to get the opportunity to actively participate in the project”.