To connect with the public about Synthetic biology, we went to two festivals as an iGEM team: the Summer Festival in May and the Discovery Festival in September. On the festivals we spoke about our project and tried to educate the audience on Synthetic biology, see the sections below for more details.
The TU Delft iGem Team participated in the Summer festival organized by TU Delft on 31 of May 2013. Various games for children were arranged by the team to explain this year’s project ‘Peptidor’. The first game: 'Guess the microbes' made both youngsters and elders to learn more about the world of micro-organisms. Most people could easily guess the microbes and their common characteristics by looking at the pictures of microbes and answering the questions. For the second game, a small microscope focusing the baker’s yeast ‘Saccharomyces cerevisiae’ was used. A real microscope attracted a lot of kids who participated in the game ‘Guess the number of yeast cells’ and competed to win ‘Giant Yeast’ as a prize.
Figure 1: Joep is explaining the Game "Guess the number of yeast cells".
The team members used posters to explain the MRSA problem and how it is related to iGEM's 2013 project and to synthetic biology in general. There were interesting discussions with a lot of people who indeed, explained us more about the microbial world. Apart from this, it was a very nice experience to interact with kids who had innocent questions and inquisitiveness about science.
With the hope to inspire people to learn more about synthetic biology, Team TU Delft gave a great presentation at the festival.
Of course, we enjoyed the summer festival too. It was a great team effort after all!
Figure 2: Enjoying the Summer Festival
We were also on the Discovery Festival in Eindhoven at 27 of September, a festival about Art and Science with as goal to present both in an exciting manner. On this festival, the Zephyr was presented as an innovation and DIY device. The working principle was explained to the visitors and they could scan fluorescent cells themselves. These were, because of safety reasons, not E. coli, but Photobacterium phosphoreum. Beside explaining how the fluorescence was detected, fruitful discussions took place on the mechanical and electrical part of the Zephyr. Design choices were explained and tips and tricks relating to the 2D table and the use of arduino were given. All in all a very good experience and an energetic experience.
Figure 3:Impression of the Zephyr at the Discovery festival.