Team:Missouri Rolla/Engagement

Engagement and Human Practices

Building with Biology
July 29, 2016
While hosting the iGEM Regional Meetup at Missouri S&T, iGEMers from University of Nebraska - Lincoln and Washington University in St. Louis joined our team in putting on a Building with Biology event for the Rolla community. We invited families to participate in a variety of biology related events from designing a superhero and extending those ideas to designing a super bacteria to matching certain qualities to different types of microbes. Children were encouraged to consider in depth ways that synthetic biology could affect their lives and ask questions of iGEM members to expand their knowledge.

National Engineers Week
February 26 and 27, 2016
iGEM members traveled to St. Louis Science Center and joined organizations from Missouri S&T and other area universities to showcase STEM fields to younger children. Our team brought cultures of photosensitive bacteria with different designs created in them and bioluminescent bacteria glowing both red and green. Team members explained the manners in which bacteria can be both beneficial and detrimental to our health. One of the members even had the chance to involve a family by communicating with them in Spanish.

Visiting Professor from Missouri State University
January 29, 2016
Dr. Tomasi visited iGEM to present to our team and other department members about animal energetics and hibernation of bats. He was able to highlight the potential dangers of bats continually awakening from hibernation which is often caused by infection with White Nose Syndrome. He even brought a bat recently captured in a building at MSU for us to meet!

Newburg Children’s Museum
August 25, 2016
iGEM was asked to attend the grand reopening of the Newburg Children’s Museum, a museum located about 20 minutes from Rolla, Missouri. This museum gives children a safe and flourishing place for them to come after school and learn. We brought a interactive game where kids could learn the parts of a gene in bacteria and create an operational gene with floor puzzle pieces.

Bat Day
April 29, 2016
Students of the iGEM team organized and orchestrated an on campus Bat Day to inform our fellow students about iGEM and about White Nose Syndrome. This day was complete with trivia, bat fact handouts, prizes, carnival games, and cookie decorating.

Earth Day
April 10, 2016
Missouri S&T hosts an annual Earth Day celebration, inviting Rolla community and on campus organizations. Our members introduced children to a bit of cave ecology and a more in depth understanding of White Nose Syndrome. Parents and children from the Rolla community alike were able to understand the relevance WNS has to cave ecology and the potential effects, due to its rapid spread in Missouri, it may have on their own lives if it is not stopped. We also got to speak with them about ways they can help prevent its spread. Lastly, we had a stalagmite themed ring toss that children could play.

Expanding Your Horizons
October 21, 2016
This yearly program is targeted toward engendering interest in STEM fields for 7th and 8th grade girls. Along with a group of Missouri S&T organizations, girls have the chance to learn about the types of STEM fields at S&T and what types of things they can do in all of them. Our team gave a presentation on HeLa cells and had students participate in a DNA extraction.

7th Grade STEM Day
September 30, 2016
Hundreds of students in the 7th grade class of Rolla Middle School joined a variety of Missouri S&T STEM organizations. iGEM partnered with the Biological Sciences department to bring activities explaining to the middle schoolers how funding for research works, how to extract DNA from wheat germ, and designing bacteria. Groups of students of over 20 rotated through stations learning from our tables and moving to Chemistry, mathematics, physics, and a variety of engineering based activities.