Team:Edinburgh OG/Public Engagement






Education and Public Engagement

Our education and public engagement aimed to design a specific iGEM induction with a series of synthetic biology teaching games and courses based on our own experience, to promote iGEM and synthetic biology. We aimed to focus on places, where iGEM and synthetic biology is less commonly known.

In order to tackle this issue, we have worked with an Edinburgh local startup, called Smart Home Education Ltd., which mostly focus on develop and expand their online educational platform. This opportunity potentially allow us to maximum our outreach. Our team successfully contacted a high school with advanced teaching resources in Macao, where there is no previous iGEM team and no synthetic biology or microbiology degree or master available in their universities. One of our team members even visited this high school and talked to their potential iGEMers and they are now planning to join iGEM in 2019 to be the first team from Macao.

During visit, our member has shared our iGEM experience, introduced our research project and some immature project ideas we had previously. Our member also introduced how human practice would be accomplished in different ways and the amazing creativity from other team in previous years, as there is and should be no limitation. He was then further introduced the work we have accomplished for human practice and how this process has refined our project purpose and design. Through these information sharing, our member has inspired those potential iGEMers to think outside of the box and remind them the importance of communicated with different people in the industry. Moreover, we have been continuously providing suggestions and answer their questions, as we all know iGEM competition can be a challenge.

In order to further promote iGEM and synthetic biology in Macao, we have also worked with a new Macao start up, called Yorkshire Online Academy Ltd., and together we were joining the 2018 Macao International Trade & Investment Fair to talk to sectors related to education in Macao and other international traders, providing our materials and experience to support them.

Back in Edinburgh, our team have also presented our iGEM project to the year 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 University of Edinburgh MSc student cohort and discussed our experience of integrating iGEM into our MSc degree programme. The iGEM project has developed as our dissertations, and as part of our master academic requirements, the whole project was divided into 10 individual sub-projects, each with a novel question to process. Through our sharing, we prepped our potential new iGEMers of The University of Edinburgh OG Team.