2011 Alberta Workshops

From 2011.igem.org

These workshops and conference opportunities are part of the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures iGEM Support Program. Tech Futures provides grants and stipends for Alberta teams, as well as coordinating several workshops a year (including aGEM - a dry run iGEM competition where the teams present to a panel of judges). We also send students to synthetic biology related conferences. For more information on the AITF iGEM Support Program, or to discuss opportunities for collaboration, please contact Jennifer Hill.

Spring Workshop - Calgary, AB - May 28-29, 2011

- University of Alberta
- University of Calgary
- University of Lethbridge

Special Guests
- Samantha Sutton, Handel Group, Boston
- Michael Mehta, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops BC
- Peter Facchini, University of Calgary
- Lori Sheremeta, National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton
- Anne Marie Downey, Downey Norris & Associates, Edmonton


On Saturday, the students from all three teams met for breakfast and then we started the day with a tour of Peter Facchini's lab. Peter works in plant biotechnology, with a focus on high-value metabolites from plants such as the opium poppy. Following the tour, each team gave a short description of their project and then we headed into a panel with our special guests.

After lunch, each team had breakouts with the guests in a rotating structure. Peter helped them dissect their projects and overcome biological hurdles. Michael and Lori quizzed them on their ethical and human practices, delving into the societal, economic, and other impacts their projects may have. Samantha, an alumni from Drew Endy's lab, helped them with their team dynamics, making action plans on how to improve the working environment.

On Saturday evening, the students all hit the town together, and then we reconvened on Sunday morning for the Presentation Skills Workshop. Anne Marie has been giving this workshop for three years, teaching the students about appropriate messaging for their iGEM presentation. Part of the workshop is videotaping select students who give short summaries on their projects, and then the videos are played back and feedback given on their presentation style.