The UC Berkeley iGEM Team had a chance to present and talk to fellow underclassmen at Berkeley about synthetic biology at a Bioengineering 24 seminar. Bioengineering 24 is an introductory seminar designed to give freshmen and sophomores a glimpse of the broad selection of bioengineering. Through the presentation we were able to give our fellow peers an insight to what synthetic biology is, and help instill interest to inspire students to take up the field of synthetic biology.

On Thursday, August 9th, the UC Berkeley iGEM Team gave its first ever presentation of their project to a group of nine high school teachers, who were part of the Biobuilder Workshop sponsored by the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc). The team had a meaningful afternoon discussing of their experiences in research and synthetic biology afterwards. In addition, the team actively participated in a discussion with high school teachers regarding biology-related curriculum taught in high school, especially modifying the current AP Biology curriculum to include more realistic experimental settings. The team hopes that they have suggested some creative yet applicable solutions, and wishes to see more inspired group of students entering UC Berkeley in the future.

On the Wednesday afternoon of October 16th, Bernardo Cervantes and Hojae Lee had the exciting opportunity to speak about their UC Berkeley iGEM project to the CEO of Qualcomm, Dr. Paul Jacobs. The UC Berkeley iGEM is one of the few undergraduates to have been supported by the Qualcomm Undergraduate Experiences in Science and Technology (QUEST) program over the summer that offered Berkeley College of Engineering undergraduates with strong academic skills the opportunity to pursue research and engineering design projects. As a fellow Cal Bear who earned his B.S., Masters and Ph.D at UC Berkeley, Dr. Jacobs was excited to hear about our project and accomplishments in the North America Regional Jamboree.

On Wednesday, September 25th, the UC Berkeley iGEM team presented at the Synbio Supergroup, a weekly seminar hosted by the Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI) at UC Berkeley. The team learned valuable lessons on communicating scientific ideas, and received helpful comments from graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in synthetic biology. The team would like to thank Synbio Supergroup for inviting iGEM to their weekly seminars.

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