One more year, an organization called "Oficina de Transferencia de Resultados de Investigación (OTRI)" at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide organizes from the 3rd to the 15th of November 2015, the Week of Science, the largest annual event popularizing science and technology at European level.

The Science Week is the biggest annual event for science communication in Europe. For two weeks, many entities related to research and knowledge organize a wide range of activities popularizing science for all tastes and all ages.

Participation in the event is completely open to any entity wishing to organize activities (universities, research centers, businesses, museums, botanical gardens, and general knowledge agents) and of course everyone interested on enjoying the same experience.

For two weeks, there are different activities scheduled in the Pablo de Olavide University to offer the public the opportunity to learn about the work done by scientists, their research, and their motivations, and to visit the places where knowledge is generated.

Th UPO-Sevilla iGEM team also participated in this science week. We explained to school kids what synthetic biology is and what the iGEM competition is about. When they heard about our trip to Boston where we could present our project, they paid more attention because they thought it was something important. We also talked about genetic engineering, and our project, explaining the problem of glycerol and how we intend to fix it. These guys were really interested in our project, although they had to hear more stories from other groups, and due to their age they were often very tired. It was the first time they heard about it and they liked it a lot. We had to start explaining the central dogma of molecular biology. It was one of our first experiences as a team, as we had not yet started work in the lab, so we remember it as something special.

The Science Week was originated in France in 1991, when Hubert Curien, Minister of Research of France, decided to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Ministry opening their gardens to the public for the first time. This local event, which aimed to bring science to the Parisian citizens science, was the forerunner of the Fête de la Science (Science Festival) which started to be a national,annual event in France. Since then, other European countries were incorporated to this tradicion, but it wasn't until 2001 when it was celebrated for the first time in Spain, as a recommendation from the Action Plan for Science and Society of the European Commission.

This year, we want to highlight the game "Trivial Science", where students have to test their knowledge about biology, geology, technology, maths or chemistry, one of the best ways to learn and have fun at the same time. Besides the students have been involved in some of the seven workshops scheduled to enjoy science. In this edition, our University has had practical workshops: "Restoring degraded", "manipulatives Materials: playing with mathematics," the biotechnology workshop "Here's Science" or "Using the worm C. elegans to study the sense of smell "

In the science week we were able to contact many students and teachers from different fields. It was a great success, for the first time we discussed our project as an innovative idea. Nearly 700 students spent a week enjoying science with 35 scientists of the Universidad Pablo Olavide. ¡¡It was a great week!!


The 14th The Science Fair was held at the Exhibition and Conference palace in Seville on days 5th, 6th and 7th of May, 2016. The Science Fair is an educational and cultural project organized by the Andalusian Society for the Promotion of Science, the "Discover Foundation" and the Faculty of Sevilla Center. This year, the main topic was climate change and environmental pollution. Therefore, we thought our project would perfectly fit in this edition.

This year the Science Fair included a STEM space + A. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics; + A refers to arts and other topics in general discussed in schools, more related to social sciences and education.

The purpose of the Science Fair is to create a space that allows the exchange, dissemination and communication of scientific knowledge, in which the actors-disseminators are pupils of schools, professors of universities and staff belonging to research centers and innovative companies. The development of this idea aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • To promote the dissemination and social communication of science.
  • To enhance the teaching of science, incorporating active and research methodologies in the class programs.
  • To contribute to the development of scientific vocations through an active and practical approach to science education and contact with researchers
  • To encourage innovative and entrepreneurial spirit among the participating students.

In this event, most of our audience were school children. They were interested in the project and wanted to look through the microscope or magnifying glass all the time. We tried to explain our project to the children in a easy way, but it was a bit difficult althought really fun.

According to the press, about 12,000 people, of whom about 5,000 were students, visited the 14th edition of the Science Fair of Seville.

To explain our project to children, we turned our project into an interactive game. We asked children what they thought they could see under the microscope, and their answers were really funny and different. Many children thought they were dragon balls, because of its orange color and position. Other answers were carrot, flowers, stains, blood and small bugs.

  • Carrot
  • Blood
  • The Dragon Balls
  • Spots
  • Flowers
  • Little buggers
  • Among other things…

We showed children this petri dish. They liked its shape and color. According to some, the bacterial colonies were similar to the dragon balls!. The children found hard to believe that each circle was composed by millions of bacteria.

For older children and teenagers, we showed this scheme of the bacteria we work with. In this scheme, we also show the substances we want to use and produce. One of the best ways to do science communication is to be able to communicate with any person, at any age or from any field. We think that this Science Fair was a completely success!

People saw in our project the solution to serious problems in the world. A door to other major scientific advances. Everyone who stopped on our stand congratulated us and applauded our project. Many teenagers were thinking about what they want to study in the future, and after talking with us, they felt attracted by biotechnology and genetics.

During the fair we made contact with people from very different areas: from teachers from Spain and other countries to children of primary school students. It was a great experience to show our project. For young students, our idea was inspiring for their future, and they were very interested about DNA manipulation and the several proceedings about DNA manipulation that we are able to use.

In addition to a successful presentation of our project, we were able to meet very interesting projects of other students. As a result, we learned a lot about other scientific topics and, of course, we made friends. At this fair, we got to bring our project a little closer to everyone. It was a pleasure for us.


We tried to explain what synthetic biology is to young school students, keeping in mind that we wanted to communicate about synthetic biology to future generations. Not only we explained them what synthetic biology is, but also talked to them about iGEM and our project in a theory class where students could participate fairly.

In May 2016, we decided to become teachers for a day in Martinez Montañes institute (Sevilla). We had the opportunity to teach the main techniques that are used in the field of synthetic biology and the risks that they involve.

In a laboratory of our university, we were able to explain how to perform electrophoresis, digestions, plasmid extractions, transformations ... For them, it was the first time working in a laboratory with pipettes and these kinds of experiments. We felt very fortunate to be the first professors to teach them something that fascinates us so much.

We also discussed the results with them to learn how to see the different possibilities that exist for certain goals. This was our first experience as authentic teachers, and it was a success.

The students were really involved and interested. We congratulated all of them, and even their school professor had words of support and encouragement for us.

We also organized the practical course, and wrote the protocols for them. That wasn't easy, but it was a very rewarding experience since all the students got good results with them.