Networking and Interaction is the bloodline of iGEM. Sharing is not just caring; it’s about gaining knowledge. Hence, Collaborations is an integral part of iGEM and fosters scientific and friendly relations among like-minded peers. It’s our first time in iGEM and working under the canopy of unusual times of COVID-19 Pandemic and its consequences has been a challenge in itself for all the teams. Our Collaborations and interaction plans took a complete virtual route. We are thankful to our indian teams who have been previous iGEM teams and guiding us through. We are grateful to the teams outside India for collaborating with us and believing in us.
We started with All India iGEM meet, presenting our idea, getting feedback and building relations with fellow indian teams.
We connected with team MSP through our instagram page in September. Our collaboration started with having a virtual discussion about each other's project. After the discussion both the teams were glad to know that both of their projects are involved into solving environmental issues. With subsequent meet-ups and brainstorming sessions both the teams decided to go for a webinar with students in the age group of 8- 10 years. We chose the topic of the webinar to be ‘environment consciousness’ as we believe that environment consciousness is something which has to be inculcated in a person since childhood. Both the teams conducted meet-ups and discussed the presentation content for the webinar. The webinar was conducted with students of Manav Rachna International School Faridabad, National Capital Region, India. More than 100 students participated and were presented varied ways through which one can protect the environment. Both the teams discussed their project idea in an interactive manner for the kids. A survey was conducted before the webinar and after the webinar to understand their level of environment consciousness and the impact of the webinar.
(Meet-ups with MSP team)
We were highly excited for this collaboration as it was with our mentor team: IISER Tirupati. We thought of cumulatively working on our mission to spread a word about Synthetic Biology through ‘Bio Building Blocks’ along with IISER Tirupati. The webinar was conducted with students aged 14 to 16 year olds. The students were taught about Synthetic Biology, iGEM, synthetic biology tools and projects of both the teams. The students were encouraged to participate in iGEM and take biology courses further. The students asked various questions about our project. The best part of this webinar was to introduce synthetic biology to young minds as they are going to be our future.
A webinar was conducted with high school students by team MRIIRS_Faridabad of government school in delhi NCR. The students in the webinar were keen to know a lot more on Synthetic Biology and therefore, were asking for the sources available to study synbio. At the same time we had reached out to IISER Bhopal through our instagram handle for a possible collaboration. Both the teams had a virtual session in which we discussed our respective projects and ideas for collaboration.
Coincidentally, both the teams had a similar idea in mind which gave rise to an animated series Syn bio 101.
Syn bio 101 is a series of videos in which both the teams have made videos to make students understand the concepts of biology and synthetic biology in a simple way. These videos were featured on YouTube channels of both the teams and on other social media platforms to maximise its reach. They were shared with participants of the webinar to quench their thirst for numerous how’s and why’s they had related to synthetic biology.
The most flamboyant collaboration in times of COVID-19 has been on social media. Our main aim of this collaboration was to amaze our YouTube audience by showcasing them various projects of iGEM from teams all around the globe. This way, they will be able to learn about both SynBio and iGEM and participating teams and possiblly reach out to those teams from our channel and interact with them.
A collaboration mail was mailed to a lot of iGEM teams.
Following teams collaborated with us in fulfilling our mission:
- iGEM stanford
- iGEM UULM
- iGEM RUM- UPRM
We thank these teams for contributing their bit in our mission.It was a great way of interacting with different iGEM teams and knowing their project. We realised that this collaboration should have started a little early so that we could interact with more teams. As we started off late most of the teams were busy compiling work. Next time, we will start early and want to know more teams so that our audience can get a glimpse of more iGEM projects. We encourage future teams to engage more in cross country dialects and network with students, so as to understand SynBio and iGEM through different perspectives and create a healthy competition while keeping their best foot forward.