Education and Public Engagement
Through volunteering opportunities, organizing training sessions and social media, we were able to share our work with a variety of audiences. We were able to discuss application of synthetic biology in treatment of Parkinson disease. Here are some of our accomplishments. Please scroll through several images which we took during these events:
In the summer of 2016, our team volunteered at the Science Mill, a science museum in Johnson City, TX, where we helped out with the exhibits at the museum, one of which involved synthetic biology and the use of green fluorescence protein in the eggs of zebrafish.
Building with Biology Events
In September of 2016, our team volunteered at the Building with Biology Events held by the Thinkery, a children’s museum in Austin, TX, where we interacted and spoke with young children about the prevalence of synthetic biology in food, scientific reasoning and skills used in research, and implications of synthetic biology research in the real world.
During the school year of 2016 - 17, experienced members of our team taught fellow high schoolers introductory biotechnology and synthetic biology wet lab and dry lab techniques. This was meant as a means of introducing individuals our age to the world of research, specifically biological research, and to provide them with an experience they may not have had otherwise.
Power for Parkinson's
In the summer of 2017, our team volunteered with the organization Power for Parkinson’s, a nonprofit based in Austin, TX that provides free, local fitness classes for Parkinson’s patients in the community. We assisted at a number of fitness classes and interacted with many of the attendees. A blurb containing the implications of our project, and synthetic biology as a whole, on Parkinson’s was also sent out via a Power for Parkinson’s newsletter.
We also used a number of social media platforms, specifically our Instagram (@lasaigem) and our Twitter (@lasa_igem) accounts to raise awareness for Parkinson’s and to direct individuals, specifically individuals our age, on how they can help at the local level. Our posts also included information on the growing relevance of synthetic biology in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Volunteering at Power for Parkinson's