Propaganda of iGEM from Tianjin University
TUST-China is a new player in the iGEM game. In our school, iGEM was not widely known. Team iGEM-Tianjin came to help us propagate synthetic biology and iGEM game when we began to build a team. A lot of students came and they showed a strong interest in synthetic biology and iGEM. What surprised us was that not just students in the biology college , many students of other colleges such as finance and law wanted to learn more about iGEM. The support of the students and the success of the meeting also gave us more confidence in iGEM.
We are willing to introduce the advanced science to the public. Therefore, we went to a community near our campus, Shangdeyuan Housing Estate, and organized a workshop. People aged ranging 4 to 65 engaged our events and workshops to know more about synthetic biology.
The residents showed their curiosity about what synthetic biology is. Therefore, we introduced the biosynthetic products around us and the significance of genetically engineered organisms. Though they expressed concerns about genetically modified foods, we used vivid examples to dispel their wariness to some degree.
To evoke enthusiasm for science in children, we prepared several interesting experiments that were easy to carry out. To our surprise, children were quite into them. We also played games while educated them about knowledge of biology like making the cell model with the eraser, teaching them the structure of the cell, drawing DNA on a blackboard etc. Even though our activities had finished for a long time, people were reluctant to leave.
TUST-China also went to Tianjin Haihe Middle School this summer and our instructor went with us. We interacted with the students and let them answer some questions. For example: "Are you interested in biology?" "Has anyone ever heard of synthetic biology? Do you know it?" "Can you guess what is the main research in synthetic biology?" The students are very positive to answer our questions, we gave the students the badges of our team as souvenirs. The interaction lead us to the introduction of synthetic biology. We've also introduced iGEM to them and showed them how to take part in iGEM as a high school student.
After listening to our introduction, they had a better understanding of biology . For us, it's quite a good experience to communicate with middle school students and to teach them what we've obtained in taking iGEM competition.