Education & Public Engagement
Education and public engagement are where we can bring knowledge of synthetic biology and iGEM to the society.
We went to an elementary school in remote area to teach children about how genetics biology can be found on both animals and plant. We created a nucleotide game for them to better understand the very tiny thing, DNA, which appears to have a significant effect on living things. In addition, we prepared a simple experiment for them to extract the DNA of kiwifruit. They all found it amazing and interesting.
Genetics of our body
Why are we different in appearance? You have big eyes but I don’t. She has widow’s peak while he doesn’t. What bring about this? We started the class with the activity, having children compare the differences between each other. This is the most direct way for them to find out how gene plays an important role in our bodies.
Genetics of plant
After the warm up of comparing oneself with others, we taught them genetics can also be found in plant. By showing them same kind of flowers with different color and other features, we taught them that gene not only makes us unique but also gives rise to the difference between plants.
In this part, we prepared a DNA-matching card game for them to understand how ATCGs work and bind to one
another by either double or triple hydrogen bonds. To our surprise, they found it interesting and actually
easy-understanding. We had a short video as followed.
At the end of the class, we played a short video of DNA extraction and had them do the experiment personally.
Just a simple and short experiment for them to “see” the DNA of kiwifruit in spiral. The following video
was Q&A time after the DNA extraction video.
School Club Fair
The school club fair was held at the very beginning of the first semester. We got a booth to promote this worldwide competition, iGEM, and tell people about synthetic biology. Since this is the first year for NCHU to attend iGEM, all the people who came to the booth found interesting about this event. It was really a great chance getting more people to know about how synthetic biology can be found in our daily lives.
Food Evolution Forum
This forum discussed about facts of genetically modified food on two very opposite perspectives. The forum had invited a former chairman U.S. Soybean Export Council and a famous researcher of molecular biology in Taiwan to reveal some myths and rumors about GMO. Attendees are allowed to ask questions and get further information about the facts of GMO. Since iGEM has a lot to do with genetic modified organism, we attended this event and got to know that
Genetic-modified-microorganism on Board
Genetic modified food is widely known by the public, but how about genetic modified microorganism? According to our project, we wanted to know how does the public think of genetic modified microorganism. The interview was named “Genetic-modified-microorganism on Board”, by interviewing people at random, we got perspectives from up to thirty people. Most of them stood on the positive side while a few people still have concern about the safety of genetic modified microorganism. This gave us a feedback that if our product is to be applied in the future, careful experiments should be done to ensure the safety of it.