Team:Penn State/Human Practices


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Human Practices

Investigating the most basic theories of biology is not only important to laboratory research, but applies to students as well. By distributing a cartoon animation of the basics of synthetic biology online, and presenting our project designs and data to a high school biology class, the Penn State iGEM team has reached out to the community with its foundational research.

Basics of Molecular Biology Animation >>

Human Practices

State College High School Presentation

Questioning the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology takes a foundational approach to the most strongly-held beliefs in the field. As we designed our projects, the Penn State team realized that this research applied not only to current researchers, but to those who were just beginning to learn the basic theories that govern life as we know it. High school students are taught to the Central Dogma, and accept it as true without a second thought. Showing them another side of molecular biology would provide an interesting counterpoint to their book-taught knowledge.

The Penn State iGEM team visited a local high school and presented our designs and project objectives to a high school biology class. We began the seminar with a preview of the Basics of Molecular Biology animation compiled during the summer. Afterward, we presented our individual projects, stressing the importance of investigating outliers in a scientific field. The students were attentive, engaged, and asked excellent questions. Though the Penn State team may have introduced a shameless plug for the iGEM high school division, the experience was enlightening for both parties.

Animation and Prezi Distribution

A cartoon animation of the basics of synthetic and molecular biology was developed and produced by one of our team members, Kevin Thyne. The Blender animation has been uploaded to YouTube, along with three Prezi animations describing the individual project designs and results. Both the animation and the Prezis are publically available, and all were shown at the State College High School presentation