Team:FDR-HB Peru/Education

iGEM - FDR_HB Home

[ Science Communication ]

Science Communication


As one of two iGEM teams in Peru and one of the only ones in South America, we find it very important to educate our local community about synthetic biology and our project. This year, we have carried out various projects in order to share our knowledge with other members of our community while adapting to the boundaries of quarantine and self-distancing.

TEDxYouth@Tukuy 2020 Workshop

On August 22, Ana Lucia Campos and Daniela Gioia, a current member of our iGEM team, organized a workshop at TEDxYouth@Tukuy, a locally organized TEDx event for Peruvian youth. This event was held for an audience of over 700 students from all around Peru to share ideas surrounding many real world issues that are going on at the moment in Peru.

In their webinar, Ana and Daniela introduced an issue that our iGEM team has focused on for the past two years, which is heavy metal contamination in Peruvian fish meal. The two students discussed how this problem affects Peruvians and why it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Then, the solution that our iGEM team is pursuing was discussed. The students explained how synthetic biology is being used by high-schoolers to help solve some very important real-world problems. Later on in the webinar, Ana and Daniela asked the participants to think of problems they believe are present in Peru. The participants came up with ideas like pollution and gender inequality, which they explored together in breakout rooms, and led by Ana and Daniela, these participants came up with their own solutions to these problems. Overall, the webinar’s goal was to inspire the youth in Peru to try to find solutions to everyday problems that they see in our country.

TEDx Talk: “La ciencia en manos de escolares”

This year, our iGEM team’s TEDx talk was uploaded on Youtube. This is a talk from TEDxTukuy, the largest TEDx organization in Peru. We shared this video with our local community via social media and announcements within our schools. In order for this to be understood by a larger group of people, we also made sure to create subtitles. The talk was given in Spanish, so some members of our team translated and transcribed, adding subtitles both in English and Spanish. Later on, we had to submit the subtitles in an SRT format. This format was made on a cross-platform called “Aegisub”, which is a subtitle editing program. We consider essential adding subtitles in two languages to ensure worldwide coverage, taking into account that English is the most dominant language in the world. This provides our talk with greater accessibility for a broader audience.

Tedx Video Embedded from Link

Educational videos produced in collaboration with UPCH_Peru

Given the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru, the state of emergency stopped all plans to carry out interactive educational activities in person at any point of the year, which is why we shifted to the advantages of virtual platforms to educate our community. Due to quarantine regulations, peruvian students have not been able to attend school for the 2020 school year. In the shift towards virtual learning, there was concern for science education specifically regarding one of the components of the national curriculum, scientific investigation. As an iGEM team, we considered that we could create content for peruvian students regarding the topic.

This project was part of a partnership with the iGEM team from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH), the only other iGEM team in Peru. We met regularly through a virtual platform to discuss the topics of the videos, peer edit our scripts and storyboards, and agree on the format of our videos to create a series of youtube videos introducing synthetic biology and our projects to highschool students. We also collaborated on creating the content to promote these videos on social media as it is a platform that is very common for our audience.

The series was made up of 4 parts in total:

  1. Introduction to the scientific method
  2. Introduction to synthetic biology
  3. FDR-HB_Peru team project
  4. UPCH_Peru team project

1. Introduction to the scientific method.

2. Introduction to synthetic biology Part - 1.

3. Introduction to synthetic biology Part - 2.

4. Introduction to synthetic biology Part - 3.

Please note: These are only teasers of the videos due to file size upload restrictions. If you would like to see the full videos please visit our YouTube Channel.

Workshop organized in collaboration with UPCH_Peru

In collaboration with the UPCH_Peru team, we organized a virtual event for Peruvian youth held on October 24th. This event had the goal of informing students about synthetic biology and our team projects, but most importantly developing their curiosity and interest in science. This workshop was conducted for students from 9th-11th grade from different schools located in the three main regions of Peru: the coast, the mountains and the rainforest. In order to ensure improve our event as much as we could, we presented our plan to science communication expert Hugo Flores, who provided us with feedback and recommendations. The content of the event included videos produced by our teams explaining basic topics in synthetic biology, an experiment that the participants conducted within their homes, a puzzle activity to reflect on the impact of synthetic biology in our community, among others.

Journal Club Peru Presentation

As an iGEM team we also wanted to collaborate with the already existing science community in Peru. Journal Club Peru is an initiative organized by students that seeks to promote scientific discussion and student empowerment through presentations and other networking tools. We decided to join them and create our own presentation that would be livestreamed on Facebook to their 9,000 followers. In our online presentation, three of our iGEM members explained the basics of synthetic biology and what our project was about in a fun and engaging way. We explained how synthetic biology can be used to solve everyday problems that we see in our communities and hopefully inspired viewers to want to solve problems that they see using science too!

Social Media

In order to have more presence in the iGEM community during the pandemic and to contribute to our society using science, our iGEM team decided to provide diverse scientific information through social media. We have been creating posts about COVID-19 updates, quarantine facts, drawing challenges, scientific facts, etc. These were posted on our iGEM team Instagram account, FDR school Daily Bulletin, and HB school Weekly Bulletin.

Frontiers for Young Minds

Frontiers for Young Minds is the revision of science articles by kids before they get published. We help modify the article to fit the minds of the young audience they’re targeted at. Not only do we help make them clearer, but we also help choose what might be interesting for young minds, and overall make the article more enjoyable to read.

Being a part of Frontiers for Young Minds is amazing because we are having an impact on real-life articles full of research that are going to be seen by the internet. Our suggestions actually change what the authors may be writing in their article.

This is important because not only are we helping make science understandable to kids, but we’re also helping make it available to young minds. The purpose of New Frontiers is to publish real science for 8-15 year-olds, and without young reviewers like us, it wouldn’t be possible.

Articles we have reviewed:

  1. Understanding the differences between lakes and reservoirs by Penny Beames and Stephanie Renee Januchowski-Hartley
  2. Sea ice Algae, Copepods, and Phytoplankton: How will the Arctic’s Food-web Change in the Future? By Alexander George Hayward and Jordan Jack Grigor
  3. CO2 turned to stone by Sandra Ósk Snæbjörnsdóttir
  4. Dung beetles: indicators and supporters of ecosystem health by Paul Manning, Xin Rui Ong and Eleanor Slade