Art, Science and Engineering

Beakerhead brings art and science together in downtown Calgary for everyone to enjoy. Organized in part by Jay Ingram, the first annual event featured everything from a robot band to engineering competitions. Our participation allowed us to reach the broader Calgary audience . We hosted an interactive booth where anyone could take a few minutes to extract DNA from a banana. Visitors to our booth got to learn about DNA and actually see what it looks like. We also took the opportunity to talk about synthetic biology and some of the interesting experiments that can be done with simple manipulations of DNA. One example we gave was the green fluorescent protein (GFP) which was originally found in jellyfish, but can now be added as a part in other organisms. Our booth attracted a lot of people and it was great to get people's opinions on our project. in general, people were very interested in the idea of detecting pathogenic E. coli especially in the meat industry.

Figures 1 and 2. People crowd around our 'DNA extraction' booth on Stephen Avenue at Calgary's first annual Beaker head.