Team:Ionis Paris/Engagement

Engagement & Education

beyond the project

Conducting surveys and working on a drone and at the bench was not enough for the iGEM IONIS team. As we were developping our project, we felt like having a more intense and close relaions with the student population we are from, and we decided to give our passion of biology and science to younger students that would maybe be part of the iGEM adventure.

In order to do that, we took different actions that would help us to get in touch with students.

  • The iGEM Week: we organized food distribution on-campus for a whole week, providing music and thematic food for students. the objective was to create an atmosphere in which we could talk easily to students around a good meal. Many of the campus students felt free to ask questions and we could answer to them by explaining what we were doing in the iGEM and how the competition works. We presented our project during classes to first-year students that could not know about the iGEM if not talked about, and we even managed a poster competition in which students had to realise a poster about an iGEM project of their choice, with scientists evaluating them, allowing them to win prizes but also to learn the basics of a good poster. Students were quite responsive to this competition and we hope it trigged some iGEM vocations.

  • Lecture presentations at UPMC (Unniversité Pierre & Marie Currie, Paris, France): working with the iGEM Impact team, we went to their campus to give a talk to bology students about the iGEM, with both teams presenting their projects. We had the opportunity to develop our scientific concept, occasioning a lot of really interesting questions, on a more general level which was the chance for us to test our knowledge! This presentation was also the right time to talk more about the opportunities a biology student can come across during its studies, and that it is possible to live this adventure while studying. A good exchange took place after the presentations.

  • Mobile game application: the mobile game we developped has been thought to display all our scientific concepts by providing a fun and ergonomic experience to the user. This application aims to teach to people ou of our reach by other means how our project works. It was for us a good way to get involved in the popularisation of synthetic biology, as the use of media is to us a good mean to transfer knowledge to people in a global way, and thus in an easier way with the dematerialisation of knowledge.

  • The European Experience: last but not least, we were part of the organization of the European jamboree, an event we are proud of. How to be more engaged in the iGEM experience than to gather european teams and giving them the opportunity to meet other students, to present their project, exchange around science topics, make new friends around Europe, listen to conferences about bioeconomics and the future of synthetic biology, and all that in Paris ? This event was the best opportunity for our team to prove our love for the iGEM competition and the best way to us to implement our ambitions of learning from other teams.

  • Overall, even if biology is the central part of an iGEM project, we put many efforts to live more than just the science of Quantifly. From the start we wanted to meet new people, to talk about science and our project, to transmit the passion that gathered our team together around one objective: get engaged within the iGEM not as a competition, but as a sole experience that is providing great opportunities.