Team:UEA-JIC Norwich/Human practices/schools


University of East Anglia-JIC


Human Practice In Schools

In order to get the perspective of children and their views on synthetic biology we were able to ask the children questions during the SAW project once Synthetic Biology had been introduced and remained the theme for the whole of their schooling day. Every child was asked the same question...“After learning more about DNA and designing a synthetic organism of your own do you fear the topic of Synthetic Biology?”.

One of the limitations of our iGEM experience was that there was only a set amount of time in which to organise and run our outreach events hindered even more by the fact that iGEM takes place over the school’s summer holidays. Due to this we were unable to hold more outreach events during the children’s term time and we had only the data we were able to collect in this time to analyse, the results are shown by the figure below.

Figure 1. Percentages of children who demonstrated fear of Synthetic Biology.

Figure 1 demonstrates that only a small percentage of children feared Synthetic Biology once the topic had been introduced. Our results show that overall 17% of children said that they were scared by the topic of Synthetic Biology. Out of the class 25% had family in research and from these a further 25% said they were scared by the topic of Synthetic Biology.

Approaching the issue of Human Practice and planning and implementing outreach events gave the members of our iGEM team an opportunity for self reflection. Every member of the iGEM team has gained something from taking part and a couple of our iGEM team members wrote about their experiences which can be seen on our outreach page.