Team:Tongji China/Engagement

Tongji iGEM - Engagement
Tongji iGEM
TongJi iGEM
Discover how we engaged the public to bring more people in the SynBio conversation.

Campus Lectures

Since students are a curious group with a strong thirst for knowledge, we went to Tieling Middle School and gave some lectures on campus to students of different ages on the topic. At the end of the talk we had time for some Q&A, and the students and their teachers asked a lot and shared their dreams with us. We also surveyed them in order to know what they are interested in, and what is the best way for them to learn more about Synthetic Biology.

SynBio course and iGEM recruiting

We negotiated with some elective teachers and gave a 20min class to students in Tongji University. In this course we introduced basic knowledge of Synthetic Biology, and, since there were students who majored in other specialities, we used metaphors to make them understand what Synthetic Biology is.

After that, we used social media to share recruiting information and introduced iGEM to students in Tongji. We hope iGEM will show them a bigger world!

Tongji iGEM & Fablab Shanghai

S.T.E.A.M Education
The FabLab Shanghai’s movement is closely aligned with the DIY and open source hardware movement, and shares its philosophy and technology with people from several groups.

We get established a long-term friendly relation of cooperation with the Shanghai FabLab, and we worked together on the Bio-FabLab. We are now preparing a kit for STEAM Education with a simple and practical bio-toolbox and APP. We are thankful to Fablab Shanghai, which helped us with the industrial mapping and making the instruments.

The bio-toolbox is aimed to children, we are developing an open source biological instrument which is low cost and much easier to operate. It may let more people do an experiment without being limited by the experimental environment or professional knowledge. The toolbox is in the making and will be presented to primary schools and middle schools. The toolbox has been designed well and will enter the trial soon.

In order to give a better user experience we introduced our project and toolbox to students from the School of Design and got a lot advice on the user experience and possible new applications.

S.T.E.A.M education is very popular among students and parents, and many S.T.E.A.M education schools have been established. But we find that there are not many Biology classes in China, and they are also scarce around the world, so we designed a Biology class firstly in China to let Synthetic Biology be known by more community members.
We have already contacted some high schools in Shanghai. They will add this course as an elective. Tieling High School will be the first experimental unit. We were happy that schoolmasters have shown great interest in our course, and we will do our best to spread it.

This course focuses on the basic knowledge of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Microbiology. We also introduce Synthetic Biology to all the students and let them design their own engineered bacteria. We use a variety of methods to make esoteric theories much easier for them to understand:
We use building blocks to explain Synthetic Biology.
We use similar music to show what variation is and how BLAST works.
And Fablab Shanghai will give them a mechanical course to lead them make simple pipettes.

We think firsthand experience plays the most important role in studying so we included biosafety and basic experiments for them.

For more information about the course and toolbox you can contact us by sending e-mail to, we welcome to your consultation.

Open Night (with LIVE network)
The 1st LIVE
We held the 1st Open Night Live (ONLive) in Creative Square to spread some knowledge of Synthetic biology to our society. ONLive is an event open without invitation to everyone. The public can listen to lectures and express their ideas. ONLive focuses on simplifying knowledge and accurately spreading it to everyone. Beforehand, we advertised in the form of online advertising to propel the movement forward and let more people know about and join us. We gave lectures on Synthetic Biology and transgenic technology to people form the community and introduced our project.
We also invited a lot of designers and scholars to make comments in different ways and show their recent results. We had a live webcast to allow people who could not come to watch ONLive through the internet. We hope ONLive can be a great way for people without professional knowledge to learn more about Biology. In the Q&A section we also got a lot of good advice from the guests, who thought that our project would be useful for pest control, and that's the reason we selected this as our final project.

The 2nd LIVE
The 2nd Open Night Live to show the iGEM teams in Shanghai and to give an opportunity to people to exchange ideas and ask questions to every iGEM member. It has been an honor for us to invite Fudan, Fudan_China, Shanghaitech, STJU_BioX_Shanghai and ECUST to our ONLive. We were delighted to find out that there were students from other universities watching our LIVE and asking questions. There was even a girl who watched our 1st ONLive in UITC Hefei, which is far away from Shanghai, and came to ONLive to ask questions. Some audience members said something about what more can our project do. Some of the suggestions even made it into our projects (we thought they were reasonable). There was also a symposium among iGEM teams after the Live and we exchanged ideas. We also set up a webcast and gave ONLive to iGEM teams in other provinces.
Fudan China
Before the work mentioned above, we used a questionnaire to understand what the children and parents want in the class and what they can get from the toolbox. We collected and analyzed the data to consider the cost and improve our toolbox. We hoped our toolbox could influence more people. The supporting courses and the contents of the toolbox have changed thanks to the data to make it attractive to more people who might be interested in our toolbox and Synthetic Biology.

We adjusted the contents of the toolbox and supporting courses according to the results of the questionnaire. Following is part of the questionnaire, there were 20 questions and the sample size is 417: Q4. Are you interested in learning more about Biology?

Q6. Do you think that your children (or if you have a child in the future) will need more extensive biological knowledge?

Q10. What kind of biological knowledge do you think your child can develop? [multiple choice]

Q13. Do you think a toolbox will help your children (or you) learn more about Biology?

Q20. At what price would you buy this toolbox?
100元 ≈ 15$
Ignis Fly

Tongji_China iGEM 2017 Team
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