Revision as of 01:37, 23 September 2013 by N.Bhatt (Talk | contribs)

Cornell University Genetically Engineered Machines

Public Awareness

Sustainability Center

The Ithaca Sustainability Center is a gallery and meeting place featuring Tompkins County’s nationally renowned sustainability initiatives. The center serves as a venue for the environmental activists of the community to come together and discuss current local issues.

We gave a presentation introducing our project and synthetic biology as a potential solution to the issue of Styrofoam pollution. By presenting our project in the context of how it could benefit the local environment, we hoped to connect with the local community and get a sense of the potential impacts of a project such as our own.

4-H STEM Camp

The 4-H Camp is a summer program designed to get children interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The program aims to grow the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers by giving youth plenty of opportunities to try their hands at real world science. The activities include observing animal behavior, studying the constellations, and creating various vehicles for flight.

We supported the efforts of this camp by teaching a group of children about the basics of DNA. Following our lesson, we helped the kids extract DNA from wheat germ and make their own DNA necklaces. We also explained the activity to the camp counselors so that they can continue educating the kids.


The Ithaca Sciencenter cultivates a culture of learning and discovery by providing opportunities for children, students, and adults to explore the vast domain of scientific inquiry. They also incorporate presentations about various scientific endeavors in Ithaca by allowing guest presenters to come in each weekend to foster hands-on learning activities.

We gave a presentation at the Sciencenter about the basics of genetics. The Sciencenter has allowed us to rouse enthusiasm for science among our younger audiences and simultaneously spark discourse about our research among adults.


Each year, Cornell University’s biology department hosts a showcase that allows researchers to share their work with students and faculty interested in the opportunities Cornell has to offer in the field. We used this event to share with our peers the immense potential of synthetic biology. By demonstrating how we have used synthetic biology in the past to solve real-world problems, we encouraged our colleagues to explore the possibilities of genetically engineered machines.