Team:SBS SH 112144/Public Engagement


Forum at the Bund Center

On the afternoon of July 21, we held a forum at the Bund Center, Shanghai. To begin with, we introduced our project, the background of the problem, and the approach we took to resolve the problem. Then, we watched a video sent from our PI, Prof. Xiao, conveying his high expectation for the team from Cornell University.

After that, the experienced cyanobacteria researcher, Prof. Wang from Fudan University, talked about the existing methods in coping with cyanobacteria- introducing competing species, building algae-water separation station, and salvaging manually, etc. Right after, Mr. Luo from a last year's outstanding collegiate team, "Shanghaitech 2017", shared his experience on how to accomplish the research step

For the next part of the event, our team enthusiastically presented a well-prepared talent show. Thanks to our talented team members, our performance, including traditional cross talking, singing and dancing, won large rounds of applause

Approaching the epilogue of the event, we organized a fund-raising activity at which we sold our uniquely designed items, such as T-shirts with our team logo. In the end, we raised 5903 RMB from the activity, which would later be used to support our project. Through this activity, not only were we able to lay a financial foundation for our subsequent activities, but we were also able to publicize on our project.

Reception at the Xuhui Center Hospital

In order to hear from more people their opinion on our project and spread our idea more widely, we held a promotion reception at Xuhui Center Hospital. We invited people to learn what we are doing. And if they would like to help, they would put a sticker on our promotion poster. We put the basic summary, as well as the usage, necessity, benefits, disadvantages of our project on the board for people to view. We also held a Q&A part during which our student representatives would answer any question from the visitors. Lots of patients in the hospital participated, and they said that this would be a very worthwhile project if it actually comes true. Amazingly, we got 325 stickers in this 2 hours activity. Some patients even took time to scan our QR code and filled out our survey questions.

Presentation to the economy camp

We introduced our idea to a summer camp nearby and asked if they could let us present to their students topics about synthetic biology as well as our project. The camp contains mainly college students, and they agreed immediately. At first, we were unsure if what we talk about would intrigue their interest. However, we were thrilled to discover that they were very interested in the topic and attended carefully. Their reactions, such as questions on the practicality of our project, promoted us to think more carefully about the issue and make changes to our experimental design.

Our Official Wechat Account

Our official wechat account was set up in June. Part of our goal, with this account, was to increase the public's understanding about synthetic biology and its positive influence on human life. Therefore, we've already posted many self-written articles, which consists of updates on our project and activities, background information about cyanobacteria pollution, and methods commonly used in synthetic biology to resolve problems. Far beyond our expectations, our wechat account was followed by hundreds of wechat users and articles were read thousands of times. This implied the great influence we were able to achieve and fulfilled our purpose to educate the public.