aGEM is a yearly competition held by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures in Edmonton. It's a friendly experience where the teams from Alberta get together to show their projects and have a chance to practice before iGEM. This year it took place on the 24-25th of September.


Saturday was the big day, the chance to present to the other teams, followed by a question period, and practice for iGEM. UBC actually sent a delegate this year, though as they are not from Alberta, they were not including in the judging. After UBC it was time for the team from the University of Lethbridge to present. They have been working on their project for three consecutive years now and had lots of data to present. After a quick break it was time for the University of Alberta to present. Their project on N. crassa had come a long way since we last spoke to them. Then it was our turn to present and the question period was filled with numerous questions from judges and students alike. Lunch was called while the judges deliberated and after that there was a keynote address by Andrew Hessel. After this it was announced that the team from the University of Lethbridge was the winner of this years aGEM competition. Short sessions with some members from the judging panel followed this to answer any questions the teams may have had.


Sunday was a very interesting day, as it was where groups or individuals got to sign up for time to talk to judges and experts in various fields about anything ranging from current projects to talking about graduate school. We learnt a lot from these sessions and even got a few ideas to try for our project, both this year and future years! Our team left slightly early this day so that we could drive back down to Calgary before dark.