|HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION
High schools have started to join iGEM from this year. We think that this is really important and necessary. However, how much are the high schools in Turkey aware of iGEM and synthetic biology?
As Fatih_Turkey team, we went to some high schools of Ankara to inform high school students about that opportunity and also to help them to assemble their own teams. Firstly, we gave a presentation, told them the future of synthetic biology and its fields of use. Then, we introduced them with iGEM, told the rationale behind it, interesting projects from previous years, and our own project. Also, in order to teach iGEM and synthetic biology in an enjoyable way we played our game altogether. Students who played the game understood the iGEM and logic of biobrick more clearly. After the presentation and the game, we got very good reactions from students. They said that they would like to assemble a team and asked about the materials required for laboratory studies. We talked about the instruments and materials and also stated that we could help them whenever they needed.
As a result, we realized that high school students did not know much about synthetic biology and iGEM, which is quite natural. However, we believe that if we tell and encourage them, some students might choose to study in this field which may lead new useful projects. As Fatih Turkey team, we will support, encourage and help them as much as we can for next years’ competitions.
The high schools which we informed:
- Ahmet Ulusoy High School
- Private Samanyolu Serhat High School
- Nene Hatun High School
- Nevin Gökçek High School
- Öncü High School
In order to teach iGEM and synthetic biology in a funny way to people of all ages, we prepared a monopoly-like game. We played the game in our own university, and also in high schools where we went to introduce iGEM. We had a great time while playing the game with our friends and teenagers from the high schools. We also got really good reactions from the players, and one of the most interesting suggestions was that we had to sell this game.
Moreover, the players were given a survey prepared to measure the effect of the game. What is synthetic biology? What can be done by it? What is the logic behind the projects of iGEM? Those were the questions that they could find the answers in this game. The game not only gave them an idea about the iGEM or synthetic biology, but it also taught them the names of some mostly used antibiotics, principles of some experiments, and laboratory instruments, such as autoclave.
All the process is full of unforgettable moments, and they will remain in our memories for long and long years.