"Human Practices is the study of how your work affects the world, and how the world affects your work"Peter Carr, Director of Judging
Amazing projects can be conducted in the laboratory without anyone ever hearing about the possibilities the research brings. With this in mind, going beyond the lab bench was crucial to us.
Our human practices efforts had three aspects. We wanted to tell our community, fellow students and the students of the future about the field of synthetic biology and more specific the exciting project we were working on. This was done by inviting high school students to join our team, getting attention in nationwide newspaper and taking on all the opportunities we had to share our experiences. Secondly, we wanted to give high school students all over Denmark the opportunity to work with assembly of BioBricks. This Biosensor project reached over 200 high schools nationwide (The Biosensor). At last, our project is very industry-based which made it very important for us to consult and spar with relevant industrial companies within our project framework (Integrated Practices)
High Schoolers Joining Our Team
"I could see a great potential of getting an amazing experience which would challenge and develop my skills within biotechnology."Rasmus Hildebrandt, H.C. Ørsted High School
When receiving so much backup, enthusiasm and getting such a great opportunity as being a part of iGEM, the most important thing for us was to give something back. Therefore, we fetched reinforcements in the form of three amazing high school students during the summer. Our three students, Sigrid, Tobias and Rasmus helped us out in the lab and gained valuable skills which will be of great value for them in their future studies.
"The project seemed like a great opportunity to get some laboratory experience and I hoped for an educational experience by participating in an official research project."Sigrid Kristensen, Bagsværd High School
It was important for the team not to exclude anyone from getting the opportunity to learn a lot during the summer and being a part of our team. This is reflected in the background of the three high school students, who are enrolled at three different high schools and had various experience with laboratory work and biotechnology in general.
"I would like to experience the laboratory work in projects like this and improve my competences."Tobias Bertramsen, Borupgaard High School
Common for all of them, though, was the eagerness to learn, their enthusiasm about the project and their ability to ask questions and challenge us on our basic biotechnology knowledge and skills.
We asked Sigrid, Tobias and Rasmus after the summer: “What was the best part about joining the DTU BioBuilders' team?”
They all agreed that the great insight in synthetic biology and laboratory work were very valuable for them. Especially the high degree of freedom they had, due to our believe in them succeeding with guidance, helped the students with gaining confidence within an relatively unknown scientific field.
What we are most proud of on the team are the feedback we got from them about our team spirit and willingness to share our knowledge and further that their participation have opened their eyes for this very exciting field of study.
Award: Extraordinary Skills
The DTU BioBuilders team is recognized by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as a “Blue Dot Project”. DTU Blue Dot is the story of a sustainable society, where students work as real-life engineers.
This year each team member from DTU BioBuilders received a diploma for showing extraordinary skills and contribution to the project. Being a DTU Blue Dot project is great honour which shows that DTU acknowledge the potential, impact and importance along with the huge amount of work we have put into our project.
“The name "Blue Dot" refers to the Earth, which - although it is huge - looks like a small blue dot when viewed from space. While big ideas can appear simple and tangible when seen from the outside, from the inside they are often rather intricate and complex. The name "Blue Dot" thus also refers to an engineer’s ability to remain focused and see the big picture while simultaneously delving into the details in order to solve problems and challenges.”Technical University of Denmark
Think Big, Think New, Think Green
“It is becoming increasingly important for future generations of engineers to integrate themes such as sustainability and the environment.”Green Challenge, Technical University of Denmark
Green Challenge is an annual event hosted by DTU and give students all over the world the opportunity to showcase their brilliant ideas for projects within sustainability, environment and climate technology.
This year the DTU Biobuilders participated and presented our project “Yeastilization - From Waste to Value” in front of many bio-interested students, professors and officials - one of them being the South Korean ambassador to Denmark. The event was a great opportunity for us to tell about our project and share our passion of biotechnology with like-minded.
Sharing iGEM with Future DTU Students
The Open House event at DTU is a venue to reach over 2600 participants who visit the university to hear about the study lines and meet students already enrolled at DTU. We seized this great opportunity to impact the students even before they decide to enroll in a university program, and of course spread the word about synthetic biology and the cool things we are doing in the iGEM competition.
Spreading the Word of the BioBuilders
We are doing this cool project, we are presenting our project at every event possible and still… we are only really talking to somehow like-minded people. The solution seemed very obvious to us. Let us reach the layman; the grandmother in the suburbans, the children in the primary school along with everyone else who do not know how awesome synthetic biology is yet.
The public picked up on our project quickly, resulting in us getting publicity in three Danish newspapers; Ingeniøren (140,000 daily readers), Ballerup Bladet (15,000 daily readers) and Jyllands-Posten (288,000 daily readers). We also did a blog about the experience of being an international student on a Danish iGEM team.
Finding Our Way With the Help From Industry
Throughout the project, we consulted with both minor and major industrial players and saught their input to make Yeastilization more viable. We started out investigating and procuring substrates from waste streams and once we had our idea lined out, we went out to major biotech manufacturing companies to test the feasibility. How we implemented these inputs in our project is described in our Integrated Human Practices page.