High school Engagement
So far, there is no iGEM high school team in Wuhan city and Hubei province of P. R. China. It is partially owing to students’ heavy burden of homework, exams and the college entrance pressure, and also because of that most high school students haven’t even heard of iGEM before.
This year, we decided to change this situation and we cast our sight on popularizing the knowledge of synthetic biology in high schools. After plenty of researches, we decided to firstly target on The Affiliated High School of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), which is one of the top-leveled high schools in Wuhan and has a global view by recruiting students for international class every year.
After early communication and preparation, we successfully held a seminar at The Affiliated High School of HUST on Jan 7th with over 300 high school teachers and students attending. On the seminar, we introduced the concept and basic knowledge of synthetic biology and iGEM and presented our 2015 iGEM project to them. Students showed great interest in our presentation and were amazed by all the novel ideas of iGEM projects in the past years. After the presentation, we sent out questionnaires to the audiences and received exciting feedbacks.
These high school students said that they were introduced to a new world of biology and a new technology that they hadn’t learnt before in their textbooks. They asked us various questions about synthetic biology and iGEM on the questionnaires. After the seminar, we discussed with the teachers from The Affiliated High School of HUST about the possibility of forming a high school team to attend the competition. They listened to our suggestions and felt promising to form a new team in the future.
Since then, we also invited some students to our lab several times and taught them basic laboratory skills and the progress of our Filter project. Hopefully next year we’ll have a new iGEM high school team in the Giant Jamboree!
Team experience sharing
NWPU is a newly founded iGEM team this year. We had a meetup with them on May 22th and shared our experience in team organizing, training, project preparing and some tips on attending the Giant Jamboree abroad.
We are glad to be helpful for them to their participation in iGEM this year, and we look forward to their performance in the Giant Jamboree.
Shanhai-Tech is also a new team this year. We made acquaintance with them during iGEM HUST-Cheering （ click here if interested to know more ） and kept close contact with each other afterwards. They were impressed by our passion during the meetups and we gave them detailed suggestions on part submissions, part documents and and filling of judging form. And we also shared some experience on how to get important information from official website and some reminders of the due-date. We expect to meet them again at the Jamboree!
Wuhan iGEM Committee
After the frequent communications and collaborations last year, we had established Wuhan iGEM Committee with HAZU-China and WHU-China. Earlier this year, on April 17th, members from the three teams met together at HUST. We exchanged our preliminary ideas of our 2016 project and discussed the matters on interlab collaboration among three teams.
Experimental design help out
In order to test our engineered strain in a more elegant way, we planned to make a time gradient visual aid. We set GFP and RFP as report genes to detect the switch function through time.Team JSNU-China knew about our project and they are interested in this characterization, so they volunteered to do a pre-experiment for us. We delivered our test samples to them and their feedbacks are promising. They proved the possibility of the method and suggested that we improve the detailed process to make the result more convincing and concrete. We really appreciated their contributions!
Equipment help out
Team HZAU-China has always been good at modeling and measurement. We have been in good connection and often discussed problems about team construction and experiment with each other. During the iGEM HUST-Cheering! meetup, we put up our suggestions on their circuit design to help them build more concrete regulations on bacteria movement. And we also helped each other on experiments.
Owing to limitation of experimental conditions, we got a problem of measurement this year. HZAU-China generously offered access to their lab and microplate reader for us. This is crucial for our circuit characterization this year and we deeply appreciate the helps from HZAU-China.
In return, we did a favor to them on part submission by helping them prepare the delivery samples using our vacuum freeze dryer.
Interlab help out
Over the past two years, iGEM has advanced the frontiers of science with the two biggest interlaboratory studies even done in synthetic biology. These studies establishing a baseline for replicability of fluorescence measurements and identified likely key sources of error, and have now been published as an open-access journal article in PLOS ONE.
But some accidents occur during the delivery, so we turn to each other for help. We offered device 3 plasmid to JLU and get positive control of Interlab from NKU and give back device 2 plasmid.
We are grateful for the concept raised by the iGEM committee that all iGEM teams should offer each other helps during this whole voyage of attending iGEM competition. This had indeed brought mutual benefits and long-term friendships to teams.
In all, HUST-China is a friendly and helpful team, we are eager to help more in the whole iGEM and synthetic biology~