We have conducted several communication activities to show the public what we are doing and spread the importance and meaning of synthetic biology.
We did understand better how much citizens know about rotavirus and oral vaccines by releasing an online survey. Besides gender and age, the questionnaire included 12 questions related to our topic, like what kind of people might be infected by rotavirus and what you think is the advantage of taking oral vaccines compared with injective vaccines. We also did one question about the popularization of preventing getting infected by rotavirus and several free responses to collect advice and know about people’s perspectives about our team.
We received 702 samples from the respondents and noticed that most people heard about rotavirus but did not know many details. More than 80% of people mentioned that they never did rotavirus vaccination or forgot whether they did or not.
We then did an offline interview in Raffles City in People Square, one of the busiest shopping centers in Shanghai, to further our survey trip because it was hard to see specific crowds’ responses online. This time we asked more about interviewees’ points of view on our program. Though most people might not be patient enough to spend too much time on our survey, we prepared mainly short questions like if you’ve ever heard about rotavirus. We found that it was common to be refused when you wanted to communicate with a stranger. At first, we felt a bit embarrassed, but then we got more used to it and received many samples.
We got closer to citizens through the survey trip and discovered a vast market for the oral vaccine because the majority support such innovation in health care.
We created a WeChat Official Account for followers to acquire a better understanding of our program. The rotavirus vaccine we are developing is oral, not injected. We aim to make oral vaccines more acceptable for children under the age of five.
Our official account updates an article almost daily, talking about two teams' progress and sharing knowledge about rotavirus and oral vaccines. Following our official account enables you to get the latest developments of us.
We posted our first article on August 6, introducing our team and our topic. The subtitle was our questionnaire.
Our August 7th article was about the introduction of rotavirus, including its hazards, symptoms, how it spreads, and how to prevent it.
On August 8, we introduced our teamwork assignments and posted some photos. The Wet team genetically modified escherichia coli. The Dry team focused on poster production.
On August 9, we posted two articles. One of them was about the Dry team's field interview activities, and the other was to share the Wet team's experiment progress.
We received lots of feedback since we had established the WeChat Official Account. Every day we spent some time reading our followers’ messages and replying. It was an enjoyable work to see so many enthusiastic readers encouraging and helping us.
Our flyer is an A4 paper folded from the middle. The front page of our flyer is like a sealed letter with our team name and a logo on it. The whole appearance is pink, looks warm and cute because our topic is closely related to children.
The back page mainly consists of green elements – green background, green typeface, and a green logo of IGEM. The text shows the basic information of our team and program. The QR code on the bottom left is for our WeChat Official Account. We hope that passersby can follow us and know more about our daily work through the official account.
What’s inside the flyer is the popularization of our peripheral merchandise such as cushions, key rings, and tote bags. We put initial pricing of other products on the bottom.
This is our roll-up banner for an offline speech at New Oriental. The dark pink background and black typeface make the whole thing look clear and attractive. This roll-up banner is divided into three blocks: our team introduction, some popularization of rotavirus, and our target.
The poster has information about our bazaar on August 15, 2021. On that day, we sold peripheral merchandise on a market stall. The page is light-colored. The needle tubing with a forbiddance sign on it means that our vaccines do not need the injection. The girl holding a flask in her hand on the left bottom means a biological team. What's on the right bottom is our logo and QR code for WeChat Official Account.
On August 13, 2021, our group went to the New Oriental Education Institute in Jing'an District, Shanghai, offline. To spread the knowledge of rotavirus to the people, including the teachers of New Oriental, we combined PPT and video to show the teachers the team's goal, the danger of rotavirus, the symptoms of rotavirus, and our daily work. During the presentation, some teachers were interested in our project and asked us for more detailed information about the oral vaccine (commercial prospects and the probability of disease in adults). After the presentation, we sold the merchandise in the office building. Many people appreciated and praised our merchandise. In conclusion, this presentation successfully extended the rotavirus and exhibited our project to the public.