Team:Leicester/Human Practises


iGEM Leicester Test Page 2012

Human Practices

Bake sales

Selling cakes was a massive success. We used University of Leicester’s open days as an opportunity to inform others about our project and also to raise money. We targeted prospective students who attended the open days and staff outside the Adrian building. Not only did it raise a lot of interest in our project and spreading of the word so to say, we also fundraised a huge chunk of what was needed.

Bake sales

Dynamic DNA

Dynamic DNA is GENIE’s flagship outreach event for Year 9 students and University of Leicester. It was a great opportunity for our iGEM team to explain synthetic biology to students and teachers. The team had a great time, as well as the students, indicated by feedback from teachers.

Ecology day festival

On Sunday 4th August we attended the Ecology day at the University of Leicester Botanic garden which involved a day of activities and workshops for all ages. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to inform others about our project and findings. The team worked their way around the fair and there were lots of informative discussions about biology, especially with the Cacti Society.

Ecology day Festival

Sponsored walk

On Wednesday 24th July, the team took part in a sponsored walk (22.4 miles!) from Leicester to Market Harborough along the Grand Union Canal. We set up a Go Fund Me page to make it easier for people to donate. Through this, we were able to inform people about our project and also emailed them to say thank you and sent them rewards. These consisted of ‘shout outs’ on our Facebook page, a papercraft R2D2, requests to do anything (walking backwards, wearing funny costumes etc) during the sponsored walk, a signed photo of the team, fridge magnets, keyrings, an iGEM t-shirt and even Dr Badge to shave the iGEM logo into his head for the walk if we raised a massive £500! It took us 12 hours; we began at the University of Leicester campus at 9.30am and reached the edge of Market Harborough by 9.30pm. The route was very beautiful and scenic. We came across many bridges and animals, stopped at pubs to rest and witnessed an amazing sunset! We also enjoyed a cheeky pub meal at our 20 mile marker, Foxton locks, before continuing with the last 2.5 miles. Dr Badge also collected some soil samples during the walk. The Norwich Research Park iGEM team from University of Anglia asked us to send them these soil samples too! The blisters, heavy backpacks full of food, scorching sun and getting lost during our adventure was all worth it because we managed to raise almost £400, thanks to our sponsors, family and friends!

Sponsored Walk

Citizen science experiment

In order to get help with sampling organisms that may colonise or degrade polystyrene, a “Citizen Science Experiment” scheme was set up to enable members of the public to get involved. Citizen Science kits were given out to schools which contained a strip of expanded polystyrene, experiment protocol, a risk assessment and a stamped, addressed envelope so they could send their samples back to us. The sampling strip, containing carbon, could then be buried into soil and left for a few weeks while the bacteria grew on it. Once the team received the samples back, the bacteria were cultured and analyzed. The team had a Skype session with Redmoor academy students. It was a successful talk, as they were very keen to learn about the how’s and what’s of our lab work and the bacteria we plated from their sent samples. We even plated a red R with the supplied iGEM RFP plasmid for illustration purposes, showing what you could do with bacteria, which was engaging for all the students to see.

Left: Citizen science kits sent by the Redmoor Academy. Right: Skype call with the students from Redmoor Academy students.

Public lecture

We held a public lecture on 3rd of October. It was open to everyone and it was a great rehearsal for Lyon! Our presenters did a great job interacting with the public and we even got a few potential iGEM team members for coming years.

Public Lecture