Education and Public Engagement
Tik-Tok is a small video sharing app that is popular all over the world. Now people from all professions are keen to share their daily life and funny moments through this app, so that different people can understand the true story of their own industry. Our team decided to create a personal CSU_CHINA Tik-Tok account to record small videos, not only to share and record the daily life of the lab and the team's preparation process, but more importantly, to promote the concept to the public: love, persistence, creation. We are not just wearing a lab coat with goggles. We are not just a rigorous nerd in the public impression. We are a group of young people with ideals and convictions. We hope that through the platform of Tik Tok , everyone will be interested in understanding our projects, so that more people know what we are doing and how to do it which means that more people can acquire our hard work and happiness.
This is our video which recording the daily routine that we leave laboratory has received 1800 LIKE in Tik-Tok.
Bilibili is Chinese largest barrage sharing site. There are a variety of video hosts on this site, from humorous entertainment to popular science. In the early stage, we did some related work, produced the team's first short video, selected Akejiang’s "Please call me" as a melody, adapting words on our own, asking people to cover, edit, and make the team song "Interlab" Song", then shared on the Bilibili,. Our video has now achieved a high click-through rate and coin-operated. Netizens said that the laboratory life was so interesting, and even the schoolmates expressed their wish to participate in the next year's iGEM contest. The promotion has obviously yielded a very good result. The comments in the video gave us great confidence to do a better job. We will continue to share our labs in the future, and I believe that more and more people will be able to see them.
Video Topic: Secret about what does cuties actually do in lab?
Video Click times:11000＋
At the end of August 2018, some of our members participated in the 5th CCiC and shared the CSU_CHINA project at the conference. As a communication platform for Chinese synthetic biology enthusiasts, CCiC is developing in continuous reform and innovation. This year's CCIC added Trouble-Shooting, AfteriGEM Project Show, iGEM Experience Sharing and other special activities on the basis of regular projects. The most fundamental purpose of these activities is to assemble new and old iGEMer, feel iGEM together, and feel the passion and happiness brought by synthetic biology.
In the communication with each team, we realized the gap with other teams. Because it is our first time to participate in iGEM, we still have many defects that do not considered thoughtful. In the questioning session, the opinion provided by the team teacher of NUDT_CHINA to us about the up-regulation threshold of miRNA concentration in liver cancer cells’ determination is very constructive. Then another suggestion came out: we should add experimental steps to verify the specificity of a specific promoter. Besides, we also discussed issues related to targeted drug delivery with XJTU_CHINA. What we can feel at the event is a strong expectation – let everyone see the sustainability, developability and breakthrough of the field, presenting the value of synthetic biology itself.
For us, iGEM is an opportunity to lead us into and participate in the field of synthetic biology. As a result, we fell in love with synthetic biology and began to explore the wider world. Here, we hope to present a state of enthusiasm for iGEMer in China, and let everyone see the creation and development, expansion and change of true synthetic biology enthusiasts in this field.
As we mentioned in the Sliver/Gold Human Practice part, the “Working Party” flash mob which held in Lunan Youth Street has attracted a lot of attention. To get in touch with people from different backgrounds and expand the impact of the project, we have cooperated with property workers, cleaning staffs and many store owners in Youth Street. We distributed our representative hat, the one printed “蛋白质（related proteins）”, to all the stores and units we worked with. At the same time, we gave our leaflets and tri-fold-pages to them and try best to explain how important it is to know those kinds of knowledge. Below are some pictures of our partners with their “special” hats.
The communication between us is very harmonious and joyful. The store owners are very supportive of our activities, and also put our CSU_CHINA flyer on the cashier so that the guests can notice it and have access to know our projects (the flyer has a QR code). The youth street cleaners also asked us some questions about liver cancer, passionately and lovely, although their level of education is relatively low. After our members told the staffs of the property company about the contents of our project and the purpose of the flash mob, they provided us with the venue, speakers, microphones, etc. for free. Thanks to their help, “Working molecule” was plain sailing.
Sina Weibo has always been a very popular app in China. So, we took the form of live broadcast on Weibo in this event, making more viewers who can't come to the site can see what we are doing. In addition to the normal action, the hosts of the live broadcast also interviewed the heads of various parts of CSU_CHINA to explain to the audience the mechanism and significance of our project. According to later statistics, our live broadcast scored 5,215 views and did a further spread of the influence of iGEM's culture and team. When the host asked team leader about our project, he explained: “The goal of our team is to develop a sensitive system to specifically kill liver cancer cells via genetic circuits, by using the combination of liver cancer-specific promoters and miRNAs.”
In addition, the dancers, hosts, etc. of the event, except 10 members of CSU_CHINA, the rest of all are all volunteers who were willing to participate. They don't ask for a return, learning our project gratis and explaining it to more people. This is what is meant by presenting our project as a one-stop service. From the property company that provides the venue, to the volunteers who act as the event sponsors; From offline flyers, to online live broadcasts; From one-way explanations, to feedback questionnaires, everything is complete. CSU-CHINA considers that HUMAN PRACTICE should be able to enable people to join, regardless of the way; or the role to join, and fully experience the project. This form greatly reduces the barrier to entry, enabling people with low academic qualifications and cross-disciplinary knowledge to have a chance understanding biosynthesis. The concept of “presenting our project as a one-stop service” may has some shortcomings and we will always adjust and optimize it.
On September 19, 2018, the iGEM team of Central South University launched a bio-science project at the Excellence Bocai Primary School.
This is a school cooperation project, which was carried out by the team of Central South University and the team of Ocean University of China. We used the biology handbook prepared by Ocean University of China to give students an interesting biology lesson. In the class,students showed a strong interest in biology. At the same time, it can be noted that the comics about biology drawn by Ocean University of China are very attractive to students. Chaoyang and Xiao Jiayu answered the questions raised by the students and let everyone know about biology. This is a very socially significant event.
Through this activity, we let primary school students who have never understood biology learn more about biology.As we all know, interest is cultivated in childhood. Moreover, primary school students are at an early age, and at this age they have a strong curiosity and a strong interest in everything. Therefore, if we use such popular science activities and appropriate textbooks, such as textbooks prepared by Ocean University of China, we can cultivate children's interest in biology. Now, in China, there are many people who are afraid of these words such as genetic modification, synthetic biology. Because they believe that genetically modified foods endanger their health, those foods are not safe. They are afraid that synthetic biology will harm our lives. The reason they are afraid of genetically modified foods is that they don't understand what synthetic biology is. So we think that in the form of a science class, we let children have a correct understanding of synthetic biology and let them share their knowledge to their parents. We believe that doing so will eliminate people's fear of synthetic biology and let them know that synthetic biology is good for our lives. As college students, we believe that we have an obligation to promote this knowledge.
Apart from what I mentioned before,through our social activities, we have found a good way for children to understand biological knowledge that is difficult to understand.The reason why few people teach primary school students about genetics is that knowledge about gene is difficult for primary school students to understand and makes them bored.We found that if we use cartoon characters, children will not be bored. And the manual organizes each biological process into an interesting story that makes it easier for primary school students to understand. We believe that this discovery is valuable for holding similar science activities and writing textbooks.
In summary, we believe that this popular science activity is very meaningful. Through this activity, we have given many elementary school students an interest in biology and discovered a teaching method that is more suitable for primary school students. In addition, we also educate people about the concept of synthetic biology.