Click to add water
The Synthetic Biology Educational Kit was devised by our team as a way to educate and promote synbio during times of social distancing. By integrating the advantages of online education and traditional face-to-face learning, our educational kit is the best way for children to learn in an engaging, informative, and safe way at home or at any places, alone or with their friends, along with our booklet embedded with worksheet. Our ultimate goal for this educational kit is to be able to educate junior high school students in rural areas or cities at any countries about synthetic biology.
In our kit, we included 4 experiments in our kit, and designed some models, such as making a comestible plate, and extracting bananas' DNA. In addition to experiments, we included an informative instructional booklet, written in both English and Chinese by our team (including the introduction of basic knowledge of synthetic biology, contents of our kit, and experiment protocols), lab materials, and puzzles our team 3D printed and designed. To help students understand our experiments and are able to do experiments on their own, we also recorded some instructional videos besides the booklet. We uploaded those videos on cloud storage, and share the code on the booklet.
In the future, our team will distribute test kits to local schools in Shenzhen, Beijing and in the US and receive feedback.
To enable more people engage in synthetic biology and our project, we designed a game, Room Escape: PICACHU. In the game, we included some basic processes of our project and simplified them to avoid the confusion among the players. Unfortunately, we hardly had time to make it into real game. In order to make up for regrets, we made it into PowerPoint, which can partly demonstrate our original game design. To increase the influence of our game, we played it during our online workshop.
In order to test our game and Education Kit, we held a workshop in our laboratory. Because of COVID-19, we only invited 7 students to our lab.
During the workshop, we briefly introduced iGEM and the purpose of holding the workshop. We first led them to do 2 experiments included in our kit. One of them is extracting banana's DNA, and the other one is to make comestible plate, which is jelly. Also, we played Room Escape: PICACHU, with introduction of details of the game to emphasize points we intended to spread, such as biosafety, and demonstrated Keystone's education game, The Adventure of Bob Lelogy. After that, we gave us some feedbacks, and we improved the kit.
For our kit, some students who had basic biological knowledge thought that the experiments were interesting, but simple. However, one of them was attracted by the experiment of extracting DNA, because the experiment connected DNA, a topic that she was unfamiliar with, to her daily life.
For the room escape game, one of them thought that it was a great review tool for students who have already studies synthetic biology. But it was hard for her to understand why she need to click the specific equipment or why she needed to add some materials together. She suggested that we need to add more information in the game to enable players understand the purpose of some crucial operations. In this way, we may achieve our education goal better. In response, we re-designed our game, adding some background information of our game and more synthetic biology knowledge through an interesting way (basically a researcher is talking to himself).