We used this poster to describe DNA and CRISPR, since these are crucial parts of our project. Patrons were able to use kits from the MIT Museum to build model DNA, and our teammates were able to answer more in-depth questions about the topics if people were interested.
This poster helped us to describe alternative splicing and the importance of protein diversity. We first gave this background information and then described how this mechanism is important to our project. In order to further demonstrate alternative splicing, we came up with a sentence building model (shown below). Sentences were "spliced" in different ways to demonstrate that alternative splicing could lead to useful proteins ("full sentences"), but sometimes there can be errors, which can lead to harmful proteins ("incomplete sentences"). We used this model to teach patrons at the MIT Museum and students from St. Paul's School about alternative splicing in an interactive way.
Human Practices: Silver
Our team realized the importance of educating the public about synthetic biology and how it can affect their lives. We understand that the world of synthetic biology and its applications is daunting, specifically because of a lack of understanding. So, we wanted to make it easy for people to understand at least the basics of synthetic biology and the building blocks of our project. We developed these informational posters and hands-on activities to help facilitate a greater understanding of these concepts and to practice communicating these ideas to a new audience. If you're interested in reading more about To learn more about our outreach efforts, please visit our education and public engagement page.
We used this poster to describe a real-world application of genetic engineering that most people could relate to: food! People were able to get a better understanding of how genetic engineering and synthetic biology are present in their everyday lives. Patrons at the MIT Musem were able to participate in "Would You Eat It?" (based on an activity template from Building with Biology), and they were able to engage in conversations about whether or not they would eat certain modified foods and why?
The goal of this poster was to convey a general overview of what synthetic biology is and how it can be useful. To supplement this information, we brought plates of transformed E. coli that fluoresced in different colors. We used these plates to demonstrate to individuals that the cells can be modified in order to perform a specific function, which in this case was to fluoresce. People were able to actually see the difference between the original cells and the ones the fluoresced.