Team:CCU Taiwan/Public Engagement



Synthetic Biology Lesson for senior high school students in summer camp

Summary: We held a lesson for senior high school students in order to make them interested in synthetic biology and learn more about iGEM.

   On July 14th, we had a lesson about synthesis biology for senior high school students. We divided this lesson into two parts: introduction to synthetic biology and introduction to iGEM.

   In the first part, we prepared an animation which is easy to understand to help them understand synthetic biology more easily. After this part, we had a prize quiz. Although the quiz was not hard at all, the class took it seriously. We believed that they had started being interested in synthesis biology.

   In the second part, we had a brief presentation about what iGEM is, and how could we learn through iGEM.

   There still some parts we did not mention in the power point slide, since synthetic biology is still viewed with suspicion by some people. At least for now, it cannot be accepted by society.

   To know more about the lesson, here are the slide shown in class.

Connect with public on Facebook

Summary: We use our Facebook fans page to teach public some simple case and knowledge of synthetic biology and our project.

   We issued synthetic biology and project in different name – “About synthetic biology” and “Issues around the world”.
You can see details on:

Figure1: CCU iGEM Team facebook page


Reality in Taiwan

   Taiwan was praised by The Wall Street Journal for recycling, and the article mentioned that the recycling rate in Taiwan was up to 56%. However, the truth of recycling in Taiwan is unfortunately not that good.

   Taiwan has many hidden problems behind this illusory figure. Remaining trash, including those that should be recycled, would be put together in the end.

   What happened in Taiwan? I think that the problem is not easy to treat at all.

   The way the recycling rate in Taiwan was calculated was through “buying and selling”. Some unscrupulous people might sell trash packed in a layer of paper, and this would also be included in recycling rate. What’s more, the recyclable material is adulterated with about ten percent non-recyclable trash, which means that although you did recycle, at the terminus it would all be sent into the incinerator. In addition, the amount of many specific kinds of trash that industries which can handle and treat in a day is far less than the trash produced. All of these facts shocked us, shaking our faith in the recycling system.

   For this reason, we asked some experts and entrepreneurs to determine what the problem is and seek for a good way to improve, or even to solve it.

Public Thoughts on paper container lamination

Survey from Public

   Before we decided our project, we had found the problem of paper container pollution through a coastal cleanup event. As we wondered to know what the reason caused the problem, we designed a questionnaire to get the data of public consideration in recycling system and acceptance in synthetic biology.

   In our survey, we understand that although the public understood the recycling classification, they did not always throw the trash into the correct classification.

   In addition, the acceptance of synthetic biology using on paper container lining is higher than we had expected, and whether the color of the lamination is dark or light seems not the point that people really care about, yet people still kept doubt when we told over the food safety, which reminded us to treat this problem more carefully.

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   Besides the survey, we did the propaganda of LIGGREEN to made people can know more about this new material. We designed a brochure and made propaganda at Chia-Yi Station in September, the content included the research motivation, gene design and the physical and chemical properties test, hoped we can exclude the doubt on LIGGREEN.

Figure2: Propaganda handbook

Figure3: Propaganda handbook