Team:Penn State/Safety


Human Practices

The Penn State iGEM team wanted to find a way to communicate the ideas and ethics behind synthetic biology to the public. We wanted to educate more people about how genetic engineering actually works and maybe fix some of the misconceptions that people may have about it. Our team accomplished this goal by giving a lecture on synthetic biology to two different groups. One was a group of students involved with the ScienceU program at Penn State and the other were teachers who felt the need to learn more about the growing field of synthetic biology. We explained the ideas behind what we had been doing all summer and began a discussion of the ethical ramifications of genetically modifying organisms and what that might mean to the world.

Reaching out to the teachers was definitely something new for Penn State iGEM, not only did we talk with them about the ethics and the science behind synthetic biology. We created lesson plans with the help of the education majors on our team for those teachers to implement the lessons in their classrooms. This came with an activity for students to learn how to design constructs, an instructional video that covers the basics of synthetic biology, an interactive presentation for the teachers to introduce the topic, and an activity for the students to discuss the ethics of synthetic biology. With allowing the students to state their own opinions and think freely about the topics, it really allows for the growth of new ideas as well as getting feedback from a different point of view. The feedback from the teachers and the students was incredibly positive and now there are many more possible synthetic biologists out there.

Below you will find videos of our lesson with students and teachers

Student Lesson

Teacher Lesson















Human Practices