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College View

During the vacation, we held a summer program in Xuhui Campus of SJTU for high school students. This human practice project named “College View” was aimed at giving a preview of the colorful college life and spreading knowledge of Synthetic Biology to the juniors. The introduction of iGEM competition is also included in the process and we encouraged the intrigued students to participate in the next year’s iGEM HS division.

Campus Tour

Aug 1st is the first day of our 3-day summer program and we lead the students to take a tour around the campus. The Xuhui Campus of SJTU has a resplendent history of over 100 years and a lot of the buildings are of incredible aesthetic value. We took the students to the BaoZhaolong Library, old teaching buildings, and all the other places that have historical meanings. The students were all from the most excellent high schools in Shanghai, such as ShanghaiHigh School, QibaoHigh School and so on. In order to foster the familiarity between each other, we arranged several games for them to play, including CAMPUS RUNNING and TREASURE HUNTING. We had been taking photographs during the whole process and made an electronic album sent to the students as a souvenir of this happy day.

Fig.1 : One page of the “College View” album

Lecture Day

On the second day of the program, we delivered lectures about Synthetic Biology and its application. We also introduced the iGEM competition to the students and reviewed the past awarded projects of SJTU-BioX-Shanghai.

Questionnaire Survey

Before the lecture, we conducted a simple survey in the form of questionnaire containing both choice and non-choice questions. From the statistical result, we learnt that although most of the high school students master varying degrees of basic biological knowledge, they knew little about Synthetic Biology, a new branch of modern biology.

Fig.2: Distribution of Questionnaires at the Beginning of the Class

Introduction to Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology was a strange noun to almost every high school student we met. Mostly, they would think it was about synthesizing something by means of biology, but we must try to teach them that it is about synthesizing life and how researchers have managed that. First, we introduce an example about the triumph over Pseudomonas aeruginosaof the biologist Chueh Loo Poh and the chemist Matthew Wook Chang using methods of synthetic biology. Then we explain the basic principles of synthetic biology in simple terms that could easily accepted and how information theory and computer simulation technology were combined into this discipline.

Fig.3 : SJTU-BioX-Shanghai iGEM Team Member, Ruonan Yin, is Presenting the Cutting-edge Achievements of Synthetic Biology

Introduction to iGEM

Also, we introduced about the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition and the past awarded projects of SJTU-BioX-Shanghai iGEM team. Viewed as the top event in the field of Synthetic Biology, the iGEMcompetition is a worldwidecompetition once only aimed at undergraduate university students. But now, iGEM also has a division for high school students to participate in. Therefore, we encouraged the students who aspired to major in biology to take part in the next year’s iGEM HS division.

Fig5 : A Researcher in BioX is Explaining Operating Principles of the Experimental Equipment

Laboratory Tour

On the last day of the program, some groups of the high school students paid a visit to the BioX center and other laboratories of Life Science and Technological School in Xuhui Campus. For most of them, this was their first close contact to a world-class sophisticated laboratory. They were really excited.

Fig.5 : The Instructor of SJTU-BioX-Shanghai iGEM team is Introducing Major Achievements of BioX Center
Fig.6 : A Researcher in BioX is Explaining Operating Principles of the Experimental Equipment