4-H Experience in the Lab
A group of high school aged students in the 4-H Youth Development group came to visit the iGEM laboratory this summer. Sam, Megan, and Jovanna gave them a presentation on iGEM, this year's project, and how science is found all around us! They experienced what it was like to culture bacteria on LB plates and got a taste of working in the lab.

Field Day
Bringing Science to the Kids!
In an effort to raise the community’s awareness of iGEM, team members participated in the University of Nevada, Reno’s annual Field Day. This event was open to the general public, and roughly 400 people were in attendance. The objective of this event was to educate the community about what the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources has accomplished. It is also an opportunity for the public to ask the college questions and keep up with news and current events. Team Nevada 2011 set up a booth at which people (mainly kids), could build cells out of Jell-O and candy. Different types of candy were set out to represent different organelles in the cell, and the Jell-O represented the cytoplasm, in which all of the organelles were placed. As the cells were being “constructed”, the functions of the organelles were explained. While the kids were enjoying their treat, iGEM members were able to explain iGEM to the parents, as well as other inquisitive passersby.

Visiting the class room
Jen Minor went to Sutro Elementary School and taught thirty 5th grade students the basics of cell structure and synthetic biology. She did this by using jell-o in cups to represent a cell, then taught the students about organelles contained within a typical animal cell. Each intracellular eukaryotic organelle was represented by a different candy. She then explained how DNA helped tell the cell what to make, and how integrating new dna would allow the cell to change part of its function. The kid's had a blast learning about cells, and after they passed a quiz on the material, they were able to enjoy a fun snack.

Board of Regents Meeting
Sam Dugan and Megan Tabor presented our biofuel project to the Board of Regents for the system of higher education for the state of Nevada. The presentation focused on educating the board members on what iGEM is and specifically the project that we are working on this year. A power-point was given at the meeting on the University of Nevada, Reno campus for roughly two-hundred people. Questions from the board were answered following the ten minute speech. This allowed the University administration and system of higher education administration as a whole to experience some of the research that we, as undergraduates are able to accomplish. This speech was highly successful and all involved were impressed with the research as well as initiative shown by iGEM Team Nevada 2011.

Presentations for Rotary Clubs of Reno and Sparks
Throughout the summer our team presented to three different rotary clubs in the Reno and Sparks area. The goal of these presentations was to explain our project to the local business community and receive feedback from them on our presentation, and our project as a whole. Presentations lasted roughly twenty minutes and were followed by question-answer periods. We presented to roughly 300 people total and got to answer many questions that as scientists, we may not always think of. These presentations were extremely helpful in fine-tuning our speeches and allowed us to involve the community as a whole in the concepts of biofuels and synthetic biology. These were again given by Sam Dugan and Megan Tabor, who both felt that the business community offered a different perspective on the research we conduct. This perspective brought up issues and positives which we were then able to incorporate into our presentation and further outreach projects.

  • 1 Rotary Club!
    Megan and Sam spilling the beans about iGEM.
  • 2 Rotary Club!
    Sam and Megan selling iGEM!
  • 3 POSE!
    Megan and Sam at UNR Rotary Club

iGEM Collaboration
We were in contact with Utah State throughout most of the project. They generously provided us with Synechocystis promoter constructs which were central to project. Our team adviser, Dr. Shintani, worked extensively with transgenic Synechocystis, provided transformation advise and protocols to the Utah State Team adviser, Dr. Charles Miller. Team Nevada was also in contact with the the Brown-Stanford iGEM Team who were also working on a project utilizing Synechocystis. We have also been communicating with the Team Panama and have offered to assist them with discounted DNA sequencing.