Team:OLS Canmore Canada/Public Engagement


Public Education

Our OLS Synbio team has participated in many community outreach events. We invited elementary students from our community to bio-paint with us at community science fair and school events. An article in the local newspaper was written about our team and helped raise awareness of our project and the problem we are trying to solve. This really helped inform people of our team’s goals and our project. In the second year of our project, we wrote a methods article about our project in an scientific paper called BioTreks. We receive input from readers around the world, were asked questions about our plan and project, and spread our idea with other scientist. We also met with several local businesses to discuss our project and received numerous donations from them. The local Bow Valley Credit Union included a short description of our project in their newsletter. A member of our team has a physical disability and we are working to make the tools of synthetic biology more accessible for everyone. For more information about this part of our project, see the Accessible iGEM page. To connect with our school students, community and teams around the world, we created Instagram account, describing our project, talking about our team members, and asking for feedback.

From these experiences, we taught our community about the importance of sorting plastics and the potential uses of synthetic biology. The community shared with us their desire for a more effective sorting system and this reinforced the need for our project to be implemented in the recycling process.

Snapshot of our BioTreks article.
Snapshot of our Instagram page.
BioPainting done with science fair students to educate them on synthetic biology.
We created a plastic sorting game to show people how difficult it really is to differentiate plastics.