Participation in iGEM allows us to learn more about synthetic biology, and as Igemers, we have the responsibility to let more people know the science behind synthetic biology. This year, our project is about the degradation of PET. We hope that we can call attention to environmental pollution and plastic pollution through our project. But because of the epidemic, we spent the first half of the project at home, so we decided to take the simplest, direct and effective way to spread the knowledge of synthetic biology. This is the material we use: Live online courses.
We have customized our webcasts for different audiences so that audiences of different ages can have a good understanding of synthetic biology.
In addition, we also use some social platforms to disseminate some other knowledge of synthetic biology.
We have the responsibility and obligation to better publicize synthetic biology and our project, so we actively communicate with the public and try our best to make them understand us more comprehensively and deeply and arouse their interest in synthetic biology.
For pupils in poor areas
Primary school children are in a stage of curiosity about everything around them and themselves. Considering that the target group is primary school students, they generally do not have a deep understanding of the biological field, and their ability to understand and accept knowledge is limited. Therefore, we start from the things around them, we guide them to understand what is biology and what is protein, and then lead to some basic knowledge related to synthetic biology.
Help education out of poverty and ignite hope for the future
2020 will be a year when China achieves its goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the year when the battle against poverty will be won in all respects. In order to actively respond to the IGEM competition's requirements for scientific exchanges, education and publicity related to synthetic biology, and to help China's overall fight against poverty. With the support of The College of Life Sciences, Tianjin University, TJUSLS_China team will carry out live online courses centered on popular science education. The main content of this live broadcast course is science education, supplemented by research and other necessary projects, to do practical and good things for the local people and solve some practical difficulties of the local people.
We hope that through this online live class, children in these poor areas can arouse their curiosity about life, nature and the world, so as to arouse their interest in studying biology or other disciplines, as well as their passion to go out of their hometown, transform their hometown and give back to their hometown. Through popular science activities and later publicity reports to focus social attention on students in poorer areas. Mobilize the attention of all sectors of society to the poorer areas, and make a contribution to the early realization of poverty alleviation and overall well-off life of TJUSLS_China
Tanchang in Gansu Province is the target of our school for poverty alleviation, where educational conditions are limited. We got in touch with the practice team that was there at the time and held an online biology science class.
“… is Biology”
“There are proteins in life such as…”
“What are bacteria？”
We were surprised by their answers and questions.I hope that the small seed we sow will flourish in some spring.
For middle and high school students
We partnered with the FDUiGEM2020 team to co-host a summer camp for Junior and high school students. This is our live online class for Junior and high school students.
Junior and high school students have mastered some basic knowledge of biology, but they are not fully and specific enough to understand the specific synthetic biology. Therefore, we designed four courses for them from easy to difficult, in a two-day summer camp In, our team explained to them basic biological knowledge, basic experimental operations and related knowledge of synthetic biology and the introduction of this year's iGEM project. We also invited teacher Wang Yaxin to conduct popular science on COVID-19 for the Junior and high school students.
Through the holding of this summer camp, we realized that the biodegradation of plastics is not well known to many people, and people are not sufficiently aware of the problem of plastic pollution. At the same time, we also recognize the significance of the projects we have done to the environment. Therefore, we will invest more energy to complete the project.
For university freshmen
Freshmen chose biology related fields, so they have a certain understanding of biology and synthetic biology. For freshmen, considering that the school has already started, we gave up the form of live online classes. , We chose to face them directly to tell them some deeper and more comprehensive content about synthetic biology and related knowledge of IGEM. After learning about synthetic biology and related content of IGEM, the students showed great interest. They expressed themselves They are more curious and looking forward to the study of synthetic biology and they will also participate in the igem competition next year.
They have sufficient knowledge about synthetic biology, and even know a lot about the content of our project, so we designed a special online live course for them. We invited our PI teacher Wang Zefang so that he can communicate and learn with us.
Mr. Wang gave professional and detailed answers to the questions raised by the students from the Northeast Forestry University Summer Practice Team about the degradation of PET and the areas they were confused about. We took the team project as an example to let the students feel the charm of synthetic biology. The future application of our results was discussed, too.
Through the discussion, we also learned a lot of useful knowledge and information.
To better improve the quality of our live online courses, and also the progress of our projects, we visited different teachers through different channels. We hope they can provide some help to our live course.
We visited Teacher Liu Huiming who teaches course in university, and consulted how to teach college students and the arrangement of course content. Teacher Liu also provided some suggestions for our project.
At the same time, we contacted teacher Wu Jing from high school and teacher Wang Haipeng from junior high school through online video calls. We asked them about their experience and skills in teaching courses. We discussed the scope of courses that students of different ages should be taught. They also gave some opinions and improvements to our live online courses to make our live online courses more suitable for different audiences.
Through the questionnaires we released in the early and mid-stage of the project, as well as the feedback of online and offline live courses for different groups of people, we realize that the biodegradation of plastics is still not well known to many people. They are not sufficiently aware of the problem of plastic pollution.
What's more, we found that through online live courses, the number of people we can communicate with is limited. We cannot have conversations with more people, and we cannot let more people learn about synthetic biology and IGEM.
So to let more people know about us and synthetic biology, we came up with the idea of using a social media platform with wider audience, where the public can more easily talk to us and express their thoughts and questions.
We opened accounts on WeChat, Weibo, and twitter, and push some interesting biology-related content from time to time. It allows more members of the public to better understand synthetic biology, the iGEM competition and our projects this year.
After our questionnaires, WeChat and Weibo messages were sent, many students from different majors developed a strong interest in synthetic biology. They hope to observe how synthetic biology experiments are done. So we opened the laboratory for them to visit and learn about synthetic biology. They all felt that synthetic biology is an interesting subject. This visit aroused their interest in learning biology, which made us feel that our efforts were valuable and influential.
Practice team exchange
Students from the practice team of Northeast Forestry University found the content of our Weibo account, and they were very curious about our project. The direction of their practice this year is related to plastic pollution. They hope to communicate with us to learn more knowledge about PET degradation, and hope that we can give some advices to their practice. Team leader Wu Shuying introduced our team project to them, and they were very interested in our project and put forward many questions and suggestions. We discussed about the software we used, the method of mutation selection, the method of screening mutants, the software used for kinetic simulation, and whether to consider surfactants. Their practical investigations on the degradation of plastics were very sufficient and provided a lot of new ideas for our HP. During their investigation, they found that the public generally did not understand microplastics, and they suggested that we could carry out related popular science activities. They thought that our project was a very good solution to improve the application value of PET. Although a lot of work had been done on HP, they suggested that we could also communicate with the Ecology and Environment Bureau. They hoped that our results could be better applied in practice.