Synthetic biology is a relatively new field just recently receiving more and more attention here in Lithuania. For example, in Vilnius University the synthetic biology courses only start in Master degree studies. For that reason, undergraduate students rarely know anything about the basics of Synthetic Biology.
This year we have started to build the Synthetic Biology community here in Lithuania by revamping Synthetic Biology Organisation by setting its direction and goals, starting a synthetic biology education cycle in university and giving popular lectures to students in Life Science Center.
However, we wanted to make the education process more engaging and innovative - as it is not always easy to grab the attention of the youngest students. That is why, for some time, we have actively searched for ways we can engage students in a more fun and attractive way.
Educational tool - Synthetic Biology Comic Book!
That is why we were extremely surprised and happy to receive a collaboration proposal from OUC-China. They have created a 28-page comic book about the principles of Synthetic Biology. The content was explaining in a fun and engaging manner with the help of colourful illustrations. It was called “Spaceship E. Coli”.
Therefore, we have accepted their collaboration proposal right away and translated their comic book into our native Lithuanian language. Also, we have adapted it to be most suitable for the young students here in Lithuania. After translating the book we have created a shareable PDF file. We have then distributed this comic book on various websites and social networks to the Lithuanian students and the general public that, we hope, after reading the comic book have developed an interest in synthetic biology.
As the online sharing was a huge success, together with OUC-China iGEM team we have decided to take our collaboration one step further and a physical version of the Lithuanian “Spaceship E.Coli” comic book. We have hoped that the physical version of the comic would generate even more interest as many people agree that reading a paper version of a comic book is a much more exciting experience!
Therefore, we have prepared a printable version of our translated comic book and even managed to find the sponsors “Kopicentras” who would later print out the books for us and even gave us tips on how to prepare them correctly.
Finally, our Lithuanian physical comic book version of “Spaceship E. Coli” was completed. We have then proceeded to distribute them by giving them out in our educational events, after our various synthetic biology lectures in universities and schools, also in conferences and popular science events.
We truly believe that such comic book is what we have needed in order to grab the attention of young students in schools and universities. In turn, we are extremely happy OUC-China team have initiated the collaboration and the line of communication between China and Lithuania!
Participation in various surveys to help out fellow teams!
We have also filled and/or shared these surveys for multiple iGEM teams: