There are near countless ways an iGEM team can approach human practices, however this year Waterloo iGEM chose to take a four-prong approach to our project:
To help our team select our project for both this year and future years, we created a guide on how to choose an iGEM project. The guide uses quantitative and qualitative measures to accurately and thoroughly process each idea brought forth for us to pursue as a project Read more about our guide and selection process on our Silver Medal Criteria Page. Throughout the development of our project we spoke with experts about improving our project and potential applications of our versatile project idea. We also developed an Implicit Association Task (IAT) and an online game to better communicate our project with stakeholders and the public [Gold Medal]. Read expert opinions and to try your hand at our game on our Gold Medal Criteria Page.
Waterloo iGEM created a diverse set of tools to help current and future iGEM teams with their annual projects. Firstly. we created a policy guidebook as a primer to Human Practices (HP) work on an iGEM team, which thoroughly discusses what projects our subteam works on and how we manage our HP on Waterloo iGEM. From this guide, we hope to provide a reference for future iGEM teams and members as an example of how a HP subteam can operate. In addition. we also made a collection of 3D printable lab materials as a way to quickly produce cost effective lab equipment. Our 3D printed equipment proved to function at high performances, and we believe that iGEM teams outside of Waterloo can benefit from downloading and producing basic lab equipment for a fraction of its commercial cost. Take a peak at our toolkit on our Integrated Human Practices Page
With foundational advance projects, Waterloo iGEM knew that it was essential to explore how to communicate our project to given stakeholders. To do so, our iGEM team created an implicit association task (IAT); a psychological tool for determining implicit (subconscious) biases. This tool is particularly important because it is enables us to effectively communicate to people through both our social media presence and presentations that Waterloo iGEM gives. The combination of our use of social media and talks given at various events allow us to easily communicate with all our followers and audiences about the iGEM organization and our project for this year. Learn more about how we developed the communication of our project on our Integrated Human Practices Page
Education and outreach has always been a core value within iGEM. This year, we ran a diverse selection of workshops and open houses to showcase both our project and synthetic biology as a rapidly developing field. We ran panel discussions to consider gender equity; workshops to teach essential synthetic biology techniques to students; and, events to increase the interest and awareness of synthetic biology amongst the public. To learn more about our outreach events this year, click on our Public Engagement Page