Human Practices Student Outreach

In order to provide outreach to the community, it was important to speak with the next set of students entering college. Northwestern University offers young, aspiring students interested in science into their Center for Talent Development program, or CTD. These students spend their summers enriching themselves in an intensive program to explore sciences of all types.

The CTD class the Northwestern iGEM team spoke with was a class were high school students that had an interest in biology. Before we spoke with them, they had already covered cellular transformations, and basic synthetic biology. This included transforming bacteria, running gel electrophoresis, and other similar lab procedures.

During the talk, the Northwestern team found that the students were very knowledgeable about the topic of synthetic biology, and even more excited about the prospects of iGEM. The duration of the talk was meant to be about the science behind bacteria transformations. However, the CTD students had already been exposed to these procedures. Instead, we focused more on iGEM.

The CTD students were able to grasp the science fully, and the remaining time was focused on the iGEM competition itself. From there, we talked about iGEM in a more discussion format. Time was spent explaining past projects to the class as well as the current project. Many of the CTD students were entering college soon, and expressed interest in joining their college's iGEM team. Those who were still in high school expressed interest in creating a chapter in their school.

Overall, the trip to the CTD class was successful to promote iGEM in matriculating college freshman, and possible high school chapters.