Team:SMS Shenzhen/Engagement



How do we engage in our community?

We always try to educate the public and influence our community in a multifaceted way—not only by speeches but also by penetrating people’s life. Thus, we did four things to engage in our community:

1. Wechat Subscription Account for Public Education

2. Speech about Synthetic Biology to Middle School Students

3. Open-Lab Activity for Teens in Shenzhen

4. Synthetic Biology Popularization in Lianhua Mountain Park

1. WeChat Subscription Account

a) What’s WeChat subscription account?

WeChat is now the most popular app in China with 889 Million monthly active WeChat users globally (Source: Tencent Biznext, 2016). We registered a WeChat subscription account: When we send messages, people who follow our accounts will see the update information in the subscription area.

We are the only team in China that use our WeChat subscription account to introduce our Synthetic Biology project in detail (Other teams always only introduce their projects briefly). Our articles are also the best in quality and quantity

b) What can we do with subscription account?

We send our articles regularly. Articles include introductions to Synthetic Biology, iGEM Competition, our team, and our project.

c) How does it relate to the public?

People can know more about our team and the scientific knowledge in our articles. It is easy to follow us on WeChat, just scanning the QR Code or searching for our team’s name. People can glance over our articles in their spare time and share our articles on the “moments,” a function in WeChat that would allow all of their friends to see our work. If people appreciate our work, they can click the "like" button or discuss on the discussion board under our article. We would reply and answer their questions in the discussion board.

d) What do we achieve?

For all of the twenty-three articles we sent, hundreds of people read them and click the “like” button. When a new article comes out, our friends and classmates are pleased to share these articles on their “moment.” Since we use lively and interesting tone to share our knowledge on Synthetic Biology, most people appreciate our works and are willing to share these articles.

Most importantly, our subscription account recently became a Verified Original Subscription Account in Science, an honor title which is hard to get, indicating that our account provides high-quality-original popular science articles.

Here are some examples of our functions and articles (titles are translated into English) :

2. Open-Lab Day for Teens in Shenzhen

a) Why did we hold the Open-lab Day?

We believe that this activity would let more junior high school students know about Synthetic Biology and iGEM competition. We hope that they will grow an interest in Life science and become passionate on it after our introduction.

b) How does it relate to the public?

More than 200 students visited our lab and listened to our introduction to our project. We also taught them about some of the knowledge in synthetic biology which they would understand.

Additionally, we even taught them some basic experimental skills like how to use pipettes.

3. Popularization of Synthetic Biology & Our Project in Lianhua Mountain Park

a) What did we do at Lianhua Mountain Park?

We put two big exhibition boards and a table along one of the largest trails in the Lihua Mountain Park. We informed the citizens about synthetic biology, iGEM competition, and the harms of scale insects. We also encouraged citizens - with the incentive free succulent plants - to follow our WeChat Subscription Account for more information

b) Why did we choose Lianhua Mountain Park?

Lianhua Mountain locates on the Center of Shenzhen. About 35000 people visit the park every day, and it’s convenient for all of our group members to arrive there. We stayed in the Lianhua Mountain Park for two days and informed many people about our project.

c) How does it relate to the public?

Many citizens were pleased about learning these biology knowledge, as well as how to prevent and kill scale insects on succulent plants. Many people also subscribed to our WeChat Subscription Account, encouraged us to explore more, and gave supports to us.

4. A Synthetic Biology Popularization Forum to middle school students

a) Why did we hold the Popularization Forum?

We can teach about Synthetic Biology in detail to these Shenzhen Middle School talented students. Because these junior high school students are from an honor program called 3+2, they are talented enough to perceive these advanced subjects systematically. It is also a good chance to for us collaborate with the team SIAT-SCIE.

b) How does it relate to the public?

It would let more students know about Synthetic Biology and grow interests in life science. According to one of the middle school students attended our forum, this forum let her have a better understanding in biology.

Besides, these students attended our lecture, who are in an advanced learning program called 3+2, are really smart and talented. Since they will enter high school soon, there is a large possibility that they may join iGEM teams in the future as well.