Education and Public Engagement

Youth Outreach

4-H Women in Engineering

We investigated the impact of our project by participating in an event with the Society of Women Engineers through their 4-H outreach. We wanted to show highschool students the possibilities of synthetic biology and test to see if microbial fuel cells could be used as a teaching tool.

Michigan Science Center

We visited the Michigan Science Center in Detroit to be a guest speaker along with on of our PI's, Dr. Ducat. The audience was local adults who had an interest in science and wanted to discuss editing the genome. We gave a presentation on our project and later participated with the audience in group discussions involving different applications of editing the genome such as in bees, mosquitoes, and wheat.

Michigan Science Center Photo-Cody

Human Practices

Bioreactors as a safe measurement device and educational tool

MSU-iGEM 2017 drew inspiration for our project from the Flint Michigan water crisis. Fresh water contamination continues to impact wildlife and humans throughout the globe with contaminants ranging from oil to heavy metals and pesticides/pharmaceuticals. Contaminants such as lead are regulated by the EPA but pesticides, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals go unregulated. We wanted to emphasize detecting contaminants that are not regulated in hopes of developing a system that can even be incorporated into water treatment facilities.

East Lansing Water Treatment Plant

We visited the East Lansing Water Treatment Plant to gather information on how to apply our project.

North American Upper Midwest Meet-up

We arranged a local meet-up with other iGEM teams such as Umich-Software, Umich-wet lab, and Carroll High School where we all presented our projects and engaged in other team bonding activities.


We attended a poster presentation at the Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences held at Michigan State University and also gave feedback by seeing other groups' posters

Plant Biotechnology for Health and Sustainability Symposium

We attended the annual Conference for the PRL (Plant Research Laboratory) department at Michigan State University and presented our project to over 100 faculty members

Purdue Collaboration

Finally, we sent our bioreactors to the Purdue University iGEM team to test reproducibility of our results.

Umich-Software Collaboration

We also wanted to test if our system could be used based on a detailed protocol posted on University of Michigan Software’s website ProtoCat.

View MSU iGEM protocol on ProtoCat

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