Team:Warsaw/Science Picnic 2013


Project description

Science Picnic!


This year our iGEM Team Warsaw took part in - Piknik naukowy (The Science Fair). This annual event is a great opportunity to invite various students, researchers and teachers which present the topics they are passionate about. Hence, everyone interested can listen to lectures, see experiments, watch educational movies and just learn something new.

This is the reason why we participated in Piknik naukowy - for us it was an amazing chance to present the topic we are passionate about. Interestingly, we also had an opportunity to become acquainted with opinions of different people we encountered. Apart from small children aged from 5 to 12 older children, as well as were also present. Interestingly enough the parents were sometimes more interested than their children.


This year the main topic was "Life". We decided to present the structure of bacterial cell (Escherichia coli) through a schematic puzzle illustrating how these small organisms can live and why they are so important for us.

We decided to show that bacteria can be modified using molecular biology techniques so as to acquire different functions that are needed (like producing insulin). For example, we presented E. coli expressing green fluorescent protein in order to emphasize that genetically modified bacteria may influence and facilitate our everyday life. Finally, to show our youngest audience the importance of model organisms in our laboratories we also presented modified Danio rerio explaining the possible applications of those animals in basic and applied research.

We were surprised by the vast range of opinions evoked by our presentation. It was very interesting for us to listen to people feedback, including some fears concerning GMO. This was especially important for us, since we planned to shoot a small “documentary” for the next year's Human Practice, as it gave us an insight into the questions that we might ask to random people on the street. It also showed us that we (as people that are somehow involved in science) do not communicate enough with the audience. During this event we understood that we very often use a language that is too complicated for common people to understand what we want to explain. This kind of situations often lead to misunderstanding of some scientific facts that are obvious for the people that are working in laboratories. This is why we especially want to talk to different people about Synthetic Biology, Genetically Modified Organisms as well as genetic engineering itself. This issue was also observed by other students from our university that is one of the reasons that one of our team member is preparing a conference about GMO’s with the Student Genetics and Epigenetics Society.


But now let’s talk about numbers!!!

  • People that were present during the picnic day: 140 000
  • People that visited our area:4000
  • Students referring: 6
  • Amount of hours that each of us stayed at our display referring:

-8h (talking)

-(12 h counting the preparations the exact same day!)

  • Percentage of happy people referring: 100%!

This was a very rewarding experience for us all! If You happen to visit Warsaw at the right time do not miss a chance to visit the Picnic! It is not only a fantastic experience but it also enables You to learn something new!!!

More pictures can be found on our facebook page!