Community involvement

Members of the iGEM team presented to WISEST Teacher Appreciation Day, Aug 14, 2012, discussing the iGEM program and our project. WISEST is a U of A training program aimed at encouraging the attraction, retention and advancement for women of all ages in science, engineering and technology.

We also presented at the Alberta Genetically Engineered Machines competition on Sep 15-16, 2012. aGEM, currently in its fourth year, is a western Canada gathering of iGEM teams, where they present and receive feedback from a star-studded panel of judges. Although patterned after iGEM, aGEM attracts its own audience, including more than 100 largely local luminaries who came to hear about advancements in synthetic biology at the hands of Canadian students. Although this year Calgary won aGEM (boo! hiss! the University of Calgary is a traditional rival to the University of Alberta), we received encouragement and a slate of useful suggestions for the remainder of our project.

High school students who took part in our team will be an important component of our outreach. Their experience, paired with the fact that they are still active in the local high school community will allow them to be powerful proponents of high school iGEM, and will hopefully allow them to have a part in setting up future high school iGEM teams in Edmonton.