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Through our interview process, we realized that many of the diverse experts that we interviewed didn't know too much about synthetic biology. The goal of the outreach part of our project was thus to interface with a variety of different audiences both within our city and outside it. We also wanted to do this in a more interesting and engaging way then your typical outreach initiative. We had five main activities this summer. We targeted youths in the city, through our video game and the minds in motion science camp. We targeted an older audience through our spark science centre evenings. We interfaced with industry and our sponsors through our Genome Alberta blog series. Finally, we looked to a broader audience through the development of our Ted talk for the upcoming City 2.0 event.

What did our Outreach activities entail?

LAB ESCAPE Videogame

We ventured into new territory this year by developing a video game centered on synthetic biology called LAB ESCAPE. As scientists, we are often asked, “What exactly do you do all day?” Our video game provides an opportunity to educate and entertain the player by guiding them through a routine experiment used by the iGEM 2012 Calgary team.

Telus Spark Science

Calgary's local science centre, Telus Spark, let us share with their visitors hands on activities with synthetic biology during their monthly Adults Only Night. We had two showcases over the summer. The first, showed off the ability of bacteria to be engineered with genes for fluorescent proteins by getting people to draw art on agar plates. The second, was a public beta test of our synthetic biology video game.

Minds In Motion

We partnered with Minds in Motion, a science and engineering camp for elementary aged students run through the University of Calgary. We hosted 'synthetic biology' afternoons throughout the summer where the kids got to do crafts and run 'experiments' pertaining to synthetic biology. They even got to wear cool 'sciencey' gloves!

Genome Alberta Blog Posts

One of our generous sponsors, Genome Alberta, invited us to post blog entries on their webpage about the life of an iGEM student. We had a great time writing about the humorous and sometimes stressful life of a student on an iGEM team. This was a great way to interface with industry and academia to convey a more humanistic view of synthetic biology. After all, we're all kind of normal...maybe...

TED City 2.0

Our team was chosen by TEDxCalgary to work with them on developing a TED talk for the upcoming City 2.0 international event in Calgary. This was an awesome challenge for us to present what we're doing to a general audience in a relevant and meaningful way.

Follow Us

What iGEM team would be complete without social media, where we can waste hours laughing at iGEM memes (#useful?) and even tweet our city's mayor about our project! Check us out on Twitter!