Our team chalked out a beautiful plan for science communication since the very beginning of the project. We interacted with people from different walks of life for this purpose. Our science communication was spread across students and the general public both.
Before Covid-19 emergency was declared, our team had a great opportunity to connect with a wide audience through decorated platforms and showcase our project with like-minded scientific community. Our team presented our project still in its ideation stage at the Department of Biology, Ram Lal Anand College, Delhi University, New Delhi, India. The college organised a DBT sponsored national seminar on ‘Metagenomics and Genome Editing’ with students across the country to showcase their ideas and projects in the related fields. We met teams with innovative ideas and projects working across domains of healthcare, environment, smarthealth, and microbiology keeping in mind problems faced by masses in the country.Our team stood First in the competition and was rewarded with a cash prize.
As much it was important to share our idea and concept to the scientific community, bringing out an idea in the public domain amidst people from different industries and the viewpoints of industry experts was equally significant in deriving proposed implementation and practical feasibility of the idea. To gain more insight we participated in ‘Youth jalsa’ an idea pitching event part of International Conference on Environmental Challenges and Solutions. Our team was selected among the five teams which were then funded for 2.5 Lacs INR (3,377.62 USD) each to build the prototype and examine practical feasibility of the idea.
While addressing audiences from varied backgrounds, our team received a lot of questions pertaining to synthetic biology, the basics behind it and most importantly business opportunities in the coming decade in this sector.
Li-Koff Comic Special:
To help create an open dialogue across students, researchers, teachers and the general public, we released an animated Comic book and disseminated it digitally and in person to help people understand the know-how of synthetic biology. The comic was also released in Hindi Language (National Language of India) to maximise its reach. The comic was designed in such a way that the basic concept is understood by all. It was designed both in English and Hindi so that we can maximise its reach. We got amazing feedback for our comic.
Every year Government of India Sponsors 5 teams (Collegiate and Community labs) to participate in iGEM. This is known as iBEC( indian biological engineering competition) or pre-iGEM. Our team managed to bag a spot in top 5 selected by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. The news was circulated in various print media.
Our team’s feat at youth jalsa was also covered by Times of India; a leading newspaper in India to commemorate the ideas selected by panel of judges in wake of bringing innovative solutions to solve mundane problems of Urban India. Our team was felicitated by the Chief Minister of Haryana( state of India) at the occasion.
Our team project was also covered by The Hans Times- A leading newspaper in India. They interviewed us on phone call and then published an article about our project in their newspaper.
“Action speaks louder than words!”
We took the opportunity of having the lockdown erased in the country and interacted with the general public.
Our team members showed their creative art skills and painted the planters with our team name, logo and iGEM logo and basic information about our project. Environment was kept in mind while showing creativity. This was done by taking earthen planters and using eco friendly colors. Anybody can understand the overview of our project by looking at these planters. The next task was to get Peace Lily plants for these planters. Peace lily was specifically chosen as it can reduce Nitrogen pollution. A total of 15 planters were designed. The next goal was to distribute these planters. For this we chose LAJPAT NAGAR, a famous shopping area in Delhi NCR, a shopping hub of fast fashion and low priced consumer goods of daily domestic needs. We connected with random people in the market place and explained our project. As a symbol of taking part in our hearsay, people were presented with a planter. We met people from different age group and occupations. It was an amazing experience. People showed high interest in knowing our project. We also gained a lot of appreciation for our creativity. The entire event took a day but the preparations began a week before. This form of event instilled new zeal in our team members and made us work more zealously.
Radio Manav Rachna 107.8 FM:
Our university boasts of having its own department of multimedia studies wherein; we have a broadcasting station. The radio channel named Radio Manav Rachna Vidyantriksha is a student run Radio station which runs in the entire city of Faridabad and is popular among local youth . Information related to our team, our ongoing work,achievements, and iGEM competition were broadcasted in the city.
PROJECT PRESENTATION- SRI GURU NANAK DEV KHALSA COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI
ENVISAGE- The environmental society of Sri Guru Dev Khalsa College, University of Delhi organised Fauna Silvestre- FIND A WAY OUT ANIMALS CAN’T SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, BE THEIR VOICE.
It was a competition in which different teams had to showcase a project which can solve an environmental issue. Different teams across India participated in this competition. Since, it was an environment based competition we thought of presenting our project to the participants. Once the competition was over, we got the chance to showcase our idea. It was a great success as the students said that they got to know a new way of healing the environment.
Many times it is seen that only the privileged students get a chance to know new things. They are provided with good opportunities. We are completely against this norm. Therefore, we collaborated with Robin Hood. Robin Hood is an NGO in India which provides free education to underprivileged students. We went to the various clusters of the NGO in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India. We had an amazing session with the students. We taught basic biological things such as what is a cell, structural organisation in the human body, difference between plant cell and animal cell and many more. We also played various games with the kids. The kids were also taught about hygiene by demonstrating them the proper way of washing hands. We also distributed our comics to these students.The students were so happy to learn new things. We would definitely like to conduct more sessions with them.
Though corona stopped us from connecting with people in person we found ways to cope up with the ‘New Normal’. As they say ‘The show must go on’ Keeping this in mind we designed varied activities and webinars through which we can share our project and spread a word about synthetic biology.
Environment is the most precious thing that human life owns. It is our prime responsibility to protect our environment beautifully. Since our project is an environment based project and environment belongs to each one of us therefore, we conducted two different series of webinars:
- Bio Building Blocks: This series of webinars was conducted with school students to tell them about iGEM, Synthetic Biology and our project. Through these webinars we interacted with a large number of students and could spread a word about Synthetic Biology.
- Saving Environment Through Innovation:Under this umbrella we connected with students other than those from life science background. These webinars were a great way in throwing light on ‘Environment Consciousness’.
No. of participants: 26
Standard: 11th - 12th
This session has a special place in our heart. During this session we communicated with government school students.The students were amazed to know about Synthetic Biology. We also enthusiastically told the students about iGEM. Thrilled to know about our project and synbio they asked us about the various sources of learning synthetic Biology. The zest of the students to learn synbio led to curation of synbio 101 ( our synbio video series).
Manav Rachna International School, Faridabad Delhi National Capital Region, India
No. of participants: 25
Standard: 11th - 12th
Duration: 2 hours
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 of today as they are going to be our tomorrow.
Vigyanam Education Centre
We also connected with the high school students of Vigyanam over a virtual meet-up. The students showed high interest in knowing about synthetic biology and asked many questions related to it. They were curious to know the difference between genetic engineering and synthetic biology. They also asked questions related to Ada regulon and why we specifically chose E. coli about our experiments. It was a fun session and the interaction with the students was overwhelming.
No. of students: 17
Grade: 11th - 12th
Duration: 1 hour
“Saving Environment through Innovation”
We connected with team MSP through our instagram page in September. It 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 in 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.
The students gave innovative solutions to save the environment.
This webinar surpassed all our expectations. The students of Business Administration amused us by showing high interest in synbio and asking questions related to its applications. The session was focussed on the varied ways through which we can save the environment. Many environment conscious choices were discussed. It was a wonderful session.
No. of students participated: 75
Duration: 1 hour
We had a thrilling discussion with B. com students of Delhi University. The students gave innovative ideas through which we can protect our environment. This included use of ceramic things wherever possible and use of natural things to make packing material. The students showed high interest in discussing about the environment conscious choices that we can make.
In this session we interacted with B.tech Computer Science students of Indraprastha University, New Delhi. Environment is something which is paramount for all. But, whichever course one takes, environment is always left behind. Environment consciousness is something that has to be inherited in every individual.
The interaction with these students was highly fruitful. The students discussed the various ways by which we as individuals can protect the environment.
Participating Students: 20
Duration: 45 minutes
In And Around Our Surroundings:
We also tried to spread awareness in our surroundings. For this we also conducted webinars in and around our residential area.
Our team mate Shivam conducted a teaching class with students of 13- 15 years. During this Shivam discussed the basics of Synthetic Biology. He got overwhelming feedback from the students. The students want to know more about this field for which Shivam will take few more sessions with these students in coming years.
Our team mate Umra connected with her society students in age group 6- 13 years. She taught them about the varied ways through which we can make Environment Conscious Choices. The students showed interest and also promised that they will take small significant steps to save the environment.
Our team mate Shivani interacted with different graduation students around her house. The students were from varied courses and fields. It was an overwhelming session on Environment consciousness. The students appreciated our project and wanted to know the applications of synthetic Biology in their field.
Our next step was to analyse the impacts of our session. For this, we conducted competitions with students wherever possible:
- Manav Rachna International School: We conducted a fun competition with the students of 4th and 5th grade. In this competition the students were supposed to tell us five different steps which they can take to save the environment. We saw participation of more than 65 students in this competition. Each student had two minutes to speak their part. The students very enthusiastically spoke their part. Many of them amused us by relating Covid-19 with it. The competition was quite long but we managed to get our winners in the end.
The winners of the competition were:
After the webinar with the students of 11th and 12th grade we organised an interesting competition with them. The students were asked to think of an environment problem and how they can resolve it with Synthetic Biology. Students participated in a huge number in this competition. We were surprised to see how students gave solutions for problems like acid rain, soil alkalinity and plastic pollution. They also forced us to brainstorm about these issues.
The winners of this competition were:
- Tanvi Jain
- Khushi Chaudhary
- Shreya Sharma
- Rohini Kumari
- Harshita Tanwar
A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO THEM!!!