Revision as of 23:41, 26 September 2013 by Ravreddy (Talk | contribs)



We're strong believers in the idea that science gets nowhere without support. As a result, when we weren't in lab this summer, you could often find us out and about in the community teaching anyone and everyone who would listen to us about synthetic biology! We harnessed the power of social media, gave presentations to everyone from children to adults, taught high schoolers some basic lab techniques, and collaborated with other iGEM teams to help spread awareness about the field of synthetic biology! Not to mention we started a podcast about synthetic biology and made and curated memes!

Scroll down to see pictures and more detailed descriptions of the Outreach events that we did this summer, and the ones that we have planned for the future! If you're as excited as we are about the future of synthetic biology, or just want to learn more, we'd love to have you stop by one of our future events! Feel free to contact our Outreach Coordinator, Ravali Reddy at to learn more about where you can meet up with us or see one of our upcoming presentations!

Peace, Love and Pipettes!

The 2013 Stanford-Brown iGEM team with NASA Ames Director, General Pete Worden

Collaborating with the California Academy of Sciences

With so many creative and popular science museums located so close to our lab, our team knew that we wanted to work together with one of them as a way to reach a larger audience. Luckily for us, the California Academy of Sciences (located in San Francisco) was willing to give us a chance to present our projects to them, a meeting that resulted in a collaboration agreement!

In the coming weeks, the Cal Academy will be posting a series of articles on their website that will serve to introduce readers to both our projects, and us as scientists and students. In addition, our team is one of the groups that has been invited to participate in the Academy's Brilliant! Science Festival on October 12 and 13. At the festival, we will be manning a table where visitors can stop by to learn more about our projects, iGEM, and synthetic biology in general, and we will also be giving an interactive talk as a part of the Academy's "Chat with a Scientist" series! The event lasts from 10 am-4pm both days, and we would love to see you there if you're interested in learning more about us and synthetic astrobiology!

Members of the team pose with the Academy's T-Rex skeleton after a successful presentation to Academy representatives!

Teaching a BioEngineering Bootcamp

Every year, hundreds of middle and high school students come to Stanford for a variety of summer camps, ranging from ones focused on creative writing, to ones that are all about coding your own video game. This year, we had the opportunity to teach a day-long session for one of Stanford's newest camps, a BioEngineering Bootcamp for high schoolers. In an attempt to give students a hands on approach to basic biology lab techniques, we wrote up a unique syllabus that gave these students the chance to work in a college lab space and PCR amplify their own DNA (from cheek cells) in the pursuit of the gene for alcohol dehydrogenase! We also got the chance to give a lecture-style presentation to the students that introduced them to the fields of synthetic biology and astrobiology, and taught them about what iGEM is and how they can get involved!

We received great feedback from the program and look forward to doing it again! Several students reported that the iGEM lesson was their favorite part of the whole camp, and some even spoke to us to learn more about how to start an iGEM team at their high schools! We really enjoyed working with younger students and inspiring them to explore and maybe even pursue synthetic biology as they start to think about college, and we look forward to being a part of this venture again in the future!

Team member Gordon Wade works with students in lab to help them set up a PCR amplification

Bay Area and NYC Maker Faires

NorCal iGEM Meeting

Midway through the summer, we had the opportunity to drive out to UC Davis to meet up with other Northern California iGEM team members! During our meeting, we got the chance to present our projects, hear about what the others teams were working on, and give/get useful feedback that helped us better prepare for competition! Plus, we got to end the day by trading in our biology skills for our bowling ones!

Collaborated with team UC Davis to characterize promoter strengths

Worked with Team Edinburgh to develop a B. subtilis integration vector for BioBricks

Demonstrated synbio and iGEM to the public at the Bay Area and New York Maker Faires

Curated iGEM memes with additional social outreach via Instagram and Twitter

Produced iGEM podcast to discuss Synbio topics