Throughout the course of the project we maintained a Twitter and Facebook account. We used these social media outlets as a means of sharing our project progress with the community. We posted interesting synthetic biology articles as well as a means to keep the public updated about the advances in the field. Additionally, we were able to communicate with other iGEM teams around the world as a platform for collaboration and synthetic biology discussion.
We have engaged in two different community outreach workshops on synthetic biology: one with ThinkSTEAM and the other with BioBase. ThinkSTEAM is a non-profit organization that aims to encourage young girls of age from 12 to 18 to pursue an endeavor in the STEM field. BioBase is an “interdisciplinary community science lab housed at the Lower Eastside Girls Club” in which scientists join students and the general public for hands-on scientific exploration. We spent many weeks meeting with both organizations to develop engaging and educational presentations. Additionally, we planned and created original experiments to complete with the students. At each event, we gave a short lecture on synthetic biology and discussed our summer project. The lecture component of the workshop was followed by the lab tour and numbers of demonstrations involving hands-on activities such as running a DNA gel, centrifuging cell culture, and plating transformed cells. We made sure to answer all questions students had and provided our contact information so that they could contact us in the future should any questions about synthetic biology or research arise.