Team:EPF Lausanne/Kit


Taxi.Coli: Smart Drug Delivery iGEM EPFL


What is Biobuilder? Biobuilder is an open-access website offering informative animations and activities for anyone who wants to teach or learn about synthetic biology.

Through our kit the team wanted to express its sympathy to BioBuilder, because we all think it's an awesome site and because we just love it! It is not only an educative and useful tool, but it is also challenging and fun. Since we share this vision of synthetic biology, we wanted to collaborate with BioBuilder in order to make Swiss high school students aware of this awesome site. As a part of our "human practice" for the iGEM competition, we wanted to suggest a kit assembling some basic synthetic biology fundamentals and easy to perform in high schools. We added some BioBuilder "material" to the kit: links to their website, some comics and links to their animations. We contacted Professor Nathalie H.Kuldell president of Biobuilder Educational Foundation, who very nicely shared with us some of Biobuilder’s awesome content.

Education that is challenging and fun is really at the heart of what we do- and it sounds like what you do too.
Natalie Kuldell: Instructor, MIT Department of Biological Engineering and president of Biobuilder educational foundation

Adventures in synthetic biology comic

All the team agrees that the iGEM competition can be resumed to teamwork, learning, friendship, proper lab practices and, most of all, fun. Our goal is to emphasize what we think to be the four main cornerstones of the iGEM competition in one single kit containing four sections: “Education”, “Safety”, “Sharing” and “Fun”. We had for ambitious objective to include these four aspects in one and single human practice project to have an impact on the student community of Switzerland. Of course, shipping our kits wasn’t really easy for safety reasons. That's why we decided to create this kit so that it could be used in several events organized at our university. For instance, we could use it during high school students visit day or in the "science bus" that promotes science amongst young students in Switzerland. And of course, we will use our kit during the Women&Engineering day, the new event our team organized.

Our team translated all the material of our kit in the 3 national languages: German, French and Italian and in English. The kit is entirely designed by us and contains awesome educational material kindly provided by Biobuilder.

Our kit

The kit contains:

- An introduction to synthetic biology and a glossary, written by the team, explain the fundamental elements of synthetic biology in order to introduce the students to the subject and to the iGEM competition. This document reflects the vision and the summer experience of the team regarding the iGEM competition. It will definitely motivate the students to take part in such an experience!

- Our team not only aims to introduce the students to synthetic biology, but also wants to help the teachers by providing them educational protocols easy to perform, explaining clearly and in a fun way the fundamentals of synthetic biology. Therefore we provide a protocol divided into two parts a “teacher protocol” and a “student protocol". The teacher protocol is filled up with tips, youtube video links to show how to perform some steps of the protocol and references to material supplies. The student protocol is meant to guide the student thanks toclear pictures of the protocol's steps taken by the team and small tips to help them through the experiment. We provide two protocols, one courtesy of Biobuilder and one done by ourselves, meant to transform competent E.coli with our team’s plasmid. And last but not least, a small summary of the expected results.

- A fun mini safety multiple choice and an educational video from Biobuilder remind the students that safety always goes along with good lab practices.

- Links to youtube videos and comics, courtesy of Biobuilder, show some important lab steps, e.g. how to perform a transformation. Other links to Biobuilder’s famous comic: Adventures in synthetic biology and to Biobuilder forum were added so that students can share their love for synthetic biology! There are also more comics regarding some synthetic biology fundamentals and links to the iGEM competition. We also provide stickers of Biobuilder, iGEM and our project "Taxi.Coli: smart drug delivery" as goodies!

Biobuilder comics, animations and information about the foundation

References: "Public Engagement with Synthetic Biology" informal learning review by Natalie Kuldel
who is Natalie Kuldell?