Team:Arizona State/Highschool Outreach


High School Outreach

Teaching Synthetic Biology in High Schools

The ASU iGEM team presented the “Exploring Synthetic Biology” curriculum to high school biotechnology classes. The ASU iGEM team is working with various high schools around the state of Arizona to start iGEM teams. In addition, ASU iGEM is working with Bioscience high school to develop a project idea for the 2013 high school iGEM competition. This past year, ASU helped Bioscience High School become the first high school iGEM team in Arizona and receive Honorable Mention for Best New BioBrick Part or Device.

Bioscience High School Internship Program

ASU iGEM participated in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering (SBHSE) Summer Intern Program by hosting high school students. Both the team members and high school students worked on iGEM projects during the summer. The high school students gained a strong knowledge of molecular biology lab techniques as well as a solid understanding of the chimeric reporter systems. At the end of the summer, the students gave presentations to the SBHSE detailing their experiences with ASU iGEM.

Our Vision for the High School Division of iGEM

  • The high school division of iGEM has the potential to alter the current approaches to teaching science education in high school. Currently, many students are discouraged to continue in the sciences upon reaching college due to the perceived tediousness and rote memorization that has defined many high school science classes. iGEM, with its hands-on approach, could rekindle an interest and enthusiasm in the natural sciences engineering, and mathematics amongst high school students.
  • Currently, the high school division of iGEM is centralized to the American midwest, with sparse involvement from other regions. We aim to challenge this current predicament by introducing the emerging field of synthetic biology to high schools across the state of Arizona to spur curiosity towards the field and allow high school students to get involved in cutting-edge research opportunities.
  • Our vision for the future of the high school division involves a multitude of high schools across Arizona participating in the iGEM competition and spreading the competition to nearby states to transform the high school competition into one that spans the entire United States and possibly the world. A problem that many high schools run into is the fact that they cannot afford to the travel expenses necessary to send students to competition. We would like to see iGEM expand to a virtual forum in which the competition is not centered on in-person presentations. This allows for iGEM to be all inclusive thereby allowing interested high schools to be a part of the competition regardless of financial constraints.