Penn iGEM


Outreach events are essential for familiarizing the public with a new technology. By reaching out to the scientific community at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the greater Philadelphia community, we were able to introduce synthetic biology to a wide audience and spread the word about iGEM.

Science Discovery Day

The Penn iGEM team volunteered at the Philadelphia Science Festival, running a booth during Science Discovery Day. The Science Festival is a ten-day program dedicated to building public interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. On Discovery Day, children come to Clark Park with their families and visit various booths to learn about science and perform fun, simple experiments. Our team ran an activity for participants to extract DNA from a cheek swab using household items, including saltwater, detergent, and alcohol. The children gained a great sense of accomplishment from performing a biology experiment, and we were happy to inspire some of America’s future scientists!

Danielle helps a young scientist dye his DNA

Danny explains the protocol to an interested

Pre-Freshman Program

The Penn iGEM team presented an overview of our project and discussed the IGEM competition with a group of rising freshmen participating in a pre-college summer program. This program was designed to introduce incoming engineers to each engineering major offered at Penn. These incoming engineering students learned about the fascinating discipline of synthetic biology and many expressed an increased interest in bioengineering upon conclusion of the presentation.

Mahamad introduces iGEM to a new class of
engineering students.

Danielle gives a history lesson, discussing the
Human Genome Project.

CURF Research Expo

Penn iGEM presented our research at the Open House Research Expo hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. This poster presentation was attended by hundreds of Penn students and faculty members. We introduced synthetic biology to a multi-discipline crowd and presented our project to many curious students. Our poster generated a lot of interest in iGEM, synthetic biology, and epigenetics.

Danielle explains the poster to a Penn student.

Mahamad presents research to an interested

CURF Research Mixer

The Penn iGEM team presented research to members of the Penn scientific community at the Research Mixer hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Undergraduates looking to get involved in STEM research attended the event for information and inspiration, and our team introduced attendees to synthetic biology and epigenetics. Responses were highly positive, and many students expressed interest in getting involved in iGEM.

Danny and Brad arrive with the poster,
ready to present.

Josh explain Penn iGEM's project to two
interested students.