Team:UESTC-China/Public Engagement


  • Overview
    To establish a bond which connect synthetic biology and the public, we devoted ourselves vigorously to public education. We hosted "Gene Go", a giant education event which drives the public participation in synthetic biology. We promote iGEM in a more innovative way, such as DIY classroom and stage play adapted from our project. We also open up "iGEM Classroom" which contains experiment practice and iGEM classes both online and offline for teenagers. It impressed them deeply and even embraved them forming their own iGEM team.
    Furthermore, we created a series of edutainment products such as Crazy Lab (a MOBA game), Gene Card Online (an online board game), Plasmid Rubik and E.mocoli (online emoticon) to bring more fun in education. Above all, what we created was not only an edutainment product, but also a carrier of iGEM and synthetic biology which output influence no matter where it is.
  • “Gene Go!”
    To develop a connection between synthetic biology and the Public, we held an educational event named “Gene Go!” in SCSTM (Sichuan Science and Technology Museum) with UESTC-Software. It is a public event with huge social impact. Within one day, we received registration forms from more than 300 families and 1000 people, reaching the maximum capacity of the activity.
    Based on the concept of edutaiment, we created an atmosphere of synthetic biology to tell people what is iGEM and what we’re doing for the world. The event includes five section, such as DIY classroom, “Cellulose Go!” Stage Play, Exploring the micro world etc. Through “Gene Go!” we interacted more with the public and received feedbacks from them as well
    “Gene Go!” was appreciated by SCSTM as well as a lot of parents. They both expected us to hold this great event next year.
    DIY Classroom
    a) Making a leaf vein bookmark
    Based on cellulose, which plays an important part in our project, we set up our first course called “Making a leaf vein bookmark”. Through the process of making vein bookmarks, the children can easily learn about cellulose which leads to the toughness of leaf veins.
    b) Making cell model with plasticine
    The second course we set up is called “Making cell model with plasticine”. We introduced the cell model to children simply and took them to make cell models with plasticine. Under our careful guidance, the children succeeded in making beautiful cell models. After class, the children said they were happy to learn the structure of cell today.
    Exploring the micro world
    After finishing the course of “Making cell model with plasticine”, we led the children to observe the real cells with microscopes. We also offered different types of slices, inviting them to operate the microscope and introduced related knowledge to them.
    “Cellulose Go” Stage Play
    We have adapted our project “Straw-Degrading Energy E.coli” into a stage play called “Cellulose Go” to explain our project. In the stage play, our protagonist “Cellulose” is an adventurer who is aiming at exploring ways to change herself into clean energy. But she was prisoned by the big devil, lignin. At this time, 3 warriors from UESTC take their plasmid sword to save the cellulose and help her change into clean energy.
    It was a play that combined knowledge and fun. The stage play was so interesting that the children all burst out laughing. We also set some questions after our play to see whether children have learned something from it. We were impressed by a girl who not only gave us the right answer of “Why butanol is harmful to bacterial” but also explained her choice perfectly with the plot in our play.
    We also collected their opinions to our project this year in the form of questionnaire and talks. Most of them express their expectation of our project.
    “It is a very good work. I believe it will make some changes.”
    “It brings me about a completely new understanding of synthetic biology. We have never thought that we can realize such a thing through it.”
    Gene Card
    Gene Card is a synbio game created by us (you can see more in our "Edutainment Products" part). We invited children to play Gene Card. Children had fun and learned synthetic biology’s basic process and tools in the game. Gene card successfully provoked their interest to synthetic biology.
    Learning about iGEM
    We have designed several posters about iGEM and Synthetic Biology for exhibition, introducing what is iGEM and what we are doing for changing the world.
  • iGEM Classroom
    We set up a series of iGEM courses for High school students instead of simple lectures. As the saying goes “The best way to learn is to practice”, we held a summer camp with lab visiting and offer them a chance to do experiment themselves. Besides, we open up our iGEM classroom both online and offline for them to learn more about iGEM. It impressed them deeply and even embraved them establishing their own team.
    iGEM Summer camp
    We held a lab open day which attracted students of Chengdu NO.7 middle school. We introduced iGEM to them and showed them around in our laboratories, as well as introducing them our experiment equipment.
    Then we began our class of Plasmids extraction. We guide them to do some basic experiments and they experienced the real life of lab. We also talked with them and received some feedback:
    “A wonderful experience. I had never thought that it was such a hard work until I did it myself.”
    “Thanks to your careful guidance! It is really exciting when my plasmid concentration was detected to be in a normal level.”
    “Experiment needs patience, determination and circumspection. It is really a hard work, because you have to endure much failure during the experiment and go on to do it again…Of course it is me!”
    iGEM online class
    What is synthetic biology?
    What can synthetic biology do?
    In what fields does synthetic biology contribute?
    All answers are in our online enlightenment class for the Experimental High School Attached to UESTC.
    iGEM offline class
    We went to Chengdu No. 4 High School and started our offline iGEM course. We introduced the knowledge of iGEM to them, explaining what synthetic biology is and what we can do through our work. They showed great interest in this and expressed their hope to participate in this competition.
    With our help, the school established their own team, CDHSU-CHINA this year. We hope that they can achieve a good result in Giant Jamboree.
  • Our Edutainment Products
    The most fantastic thing is that we created a series of edutainment products such as Gene Card Online, Crazy Lab (a MOBA game), Plasmid Rubik and E.mocoli (online emoticon) to bring more fun in education. What we created was not only an edutainment product, but also a carrier of iGEM and synthetic biology which output influence no matter where it is. It can be applied in most situation such as classes, entertainment, activities, or even in our daily communication.
    Many teams were amazed at our innovative idea. We are also invited as the only team in CCiC (the largest iGEM Conference in China) to share our experience in Human Practices these years.
    Gene Card online
    Gene Card Online is an online board game developed by Team UESTC-China, realizing the organic combination of synthetic biology and board game. The most basic elements of synthetic biology are clearly delivered to people with the combination of restriction enzyme, DNA ligase, vector, target gene, bacteria and PCR. People can easily understand what synthetic biology is in the process of enjoying the game.
    Considering many limitations of paper board games, we decided to put them on the Internet this year to further realize the goal of promoting the development of the project. Nowadays, any place with access to the Internet can use Gene Card Online at any time for various purposes, such as teaching, popular science and entertainment.
    Gene Card still seems to have a bright future.Click here to see more in our Software Tool
    Crazy Lab
    Combined with a more complicated principles of synthetic biology, “Crazy Lab” is an advanced MOBA (Multiplayers Offline Battle Arena) game. It gives participating players a strong feel of interaction during the process of our game.
    “Crazy Lab” tells a story of our project this year:Such a colony of bacteria live in the laboratory of UESTC-China (University of Electronic Science and Technology of China), and they lived through a happy and stable life together. Suddenly one day, iGEMers set foot in the territory belonged to them, what is more, iGEMers brought a maize straw and a treasure map. The treasure map had injected a dose of cardinala ampoule for bacterial life, therefore, warriors picked up their own weapons and put on their own armour one after another, then started their own journey.
    So what will they do next? What kind of adventure will they encounter?
    These will be up to you.
    Plasmid Rubik
    We place a plasmid ring which contains promoter, terminator, target gene and resistant gene on each side of the Rubik, different genes can produce different plasmid ring. It shows more fun and possibility in combination with gene. We hope Plasmid Rubik could help people learn about synthetic biology as edutainment.
    Promoter: Starting switch for transcription work.
    Terminator: Switch off for transcription work.
    Target gene: The gene we want to express.
    Resistance gene: The gene fragment, which is selection marker of the plasmid.
    Tools: Environmental-friendly resin, 3D printer
    Operation: There is only one goal: making a correct plasmid on every side, no matter what combination it is
    Future version: We decided to bring lighting to the next version. When the player successfully builds a plasmid, the cube emits light. We wanted to go through this upgrade to make players more intuitive aware of their success. We have successfully achieved the luminescence of a single cube, I believe it will be completed soon. In addition, we will also make new parts, and add new combinations based on the existing 1,296 combinations to greatly improve its playability.
    Using E. coli as a prototype, we created a series of emoticon similar to Emoji for iGEMers’ daily use. All emoticons are drawn by members of UESTC-China and they are still being added. Their inspiration comes from our daily life and experiments, as well as our educational product. And now, we are trying to apply for permission to add it to emoticon store of social medias, such as WeChat and Twitter.
  • Meet-up
    Southwest Union
    As the "Southwest Union" (iGEM team in Southwest China exchange seminar, UESTC-China) founder, we actively participate in mutual exchanges and academic discussions on a yearly basis and meet with other research teams in the region so as to seek for new cooperations and breakthroughs.
    This is the 4th Southwest Union hosted by SiCAU. The participating teams this year are SiCAU, UESTC-China, UESTC-software and SCU. We make a presentation in our project design and experimental progress, share the difficulties we encountered and experience in the project with each other.
    Forum with SCU and NWU
    We meet with SCU-China and NWU-CHINA to have a discussion with them in our recent work. We exchange our experiences in experiments, Design and Human Practice with each other.
    CCiC(Conference of China iGEMer Committee)
    This year we have also participated in the 5th CCIC (Conference of China iGEMer Committee), and communicated with other iGEM teams from all over China.
    The conference was hosted by ShanghaiTech and welcomed more than 480 people from all over the country. It is the largest conference held for iGEMers in China every year. Meanwhile, the meeting also invited Ms. Meagan Lizarazo and some well-known scholars in the field of synthetic biology to give us a chance talking with them face to face.
    In addition to the presentation and posters, we also shared our experience in Education and Public Engagement these years as a special event. We made a presentation of our innovative ideas such as gene cards, E.mocoli and Plasmid Rubik, which have been warmly welcomed by various teams.
  • Film of Our Lab Life
    We made a short video for ourselves to record our daily experiments~
Copyright © 2018 iGEM UESTC-China