- We collaborated with Team Moscow-Russia to be able to provide an example of in-lab experimentation for the science communication portion of our project. This year, our labs were closed due to COVID19. So, we were unable to make a demonstration of PCR for our highschool and community college presentations. Team Moscow-Russia took the liberty of making a PCR demonstration video for us. Because of this, the students we presented to were able to see a real example of synthetic biology.
- We were delighted to collaborate with the iGEM team from UC Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz team had presented to a local high school, and gave us notes for engaging the audience, as well as points of improvement. This was valuable to us since we were going to present our research at Nevada Union High School. Getting suggestions early to improve our presentation saved us a lot of practice time, and led to a smoother, more engaging presentation.
- One suggestion we took was using “Kahoot”, a common multiple-choice game to test the knowledge and retention of students after the presentation. This had good results, as the students seemed to retain the information from our slides. Santa Cruz also encouraged us to explicitly define acronyms we use (PCR, for example), since many high school students don’t have basic synthetic biology or bioinformatics knowledge.
- We are grateful to the iGEM team from Stanford for providing supplementary material to present to our various audiences. We presented to Saddleback Community College and Nevada Union High School on the topics of synthetic biology and bioinformatics. Stanford gave us their promotional video, which helped grab the attention of some students. By showing applicable uses for synthetic biology from undergraduate level students, we were able to show high schoolers that cool projects like ours and Stanfords were not too far out of reach.
- Following the completion of our software package, they sat down with us to install the software and all dependencies. With our guidance, they were able to successfully install and run the UC-Davis software package. With this meeting they showed us exactly where an outside user would have challenges and questions about the installation and use of our software. This meeting allowed for us to write a tutorial more specific to the needs of the user and to account for some possible challenges in the installation and usage of our software. Our final tutorial has multiple additions as a result of our meeting with the Stanford team.