In addition to the work we've been doing on our projects this summer, the Brown iGEM team has worked hard to spread the word about synthetic biology and igem into the community. This includes doing outreach to local high school students, helping to pave the way for a synthetic biology department at Brown, and spreading the word to other Brown undergraduates.
"This is what I always wanted biology to be!"
- Quote from a Brown student at the UTRA Symposium
Synthetic Biology @ Brown
This fall, Brown University is offering its first course in Synthetic Biology, "Synthetic Biology Systems in theory and practice". Taught by Professor Gary Wessel, a close advisor of the Brown iGEM Team, the course brings in lecturers from all across Synthetic Biology. A few notable guests throughout the semester include:
Synthetic Biology @ Brown
- Tom Knight
- Pam Silver
- Christina Smolke
- Jim Collins
- Chris Voigt
Outreach with Highschoolers
Over the summer, the Brown iGEM Team met up with two groups of highschoolers who were taking summer classes at Brown. The students had lots of great questions, and even ideas for future iGEM projects!
July 30, 2007
Deepa and Tito gave a presentation to Brown Summer students and discussed the applications of synthetic biology
July 3, 2007
The iGEM Team met up with Jody Hall's Biotechnology class on July 3rd. Afterwards we toured the lab and discussed the ethics of synthetic biology.
UTRA Summer Symposium
Undergraduate Research Symposium
On August 4th, 2007, the Brown iGEM Team presented their research at the Brown University UTRA Symposium. We met lots of interested summer researchers and professors.
People loved the Biobricks concept. The Lead Sensor and Tri-Stable switch received a lot of attention!
Brown Student Activities Fair
On September 6th, 2007, the Brown iGEM Team appeared that the Brown Activities Fair. We gave out slick pamphlets which described "What is iGEM?", "the Registry of Standard Biological Parts", "Synthetic Biology", and "iGEM Projects of the Past".
We met dozens of undergraduates and packed our mailing list with future synthetic biologists!
iGEM Regional Meetup
On August 18th, the Brown iGEM Team was proud to host the iGEM East Coast Meetup.
Lots of enthusiastic attendees, including the iGEM teams from MIT, McGill (Canada), Cold Spring Harbor, Boston University, as well as Mac Cowell from the Registry!
The teams started out with an icebreaker led by Mac, the infamous egg drop competition. Each team was given a trash bag, a few straws and toothpicks, and a roll of tape. A couple survived!
Each school then gave a short presentation about their progress through the summer. It was great talking with other teams about similar experiences, like problems with protocols, contamination, and the joy of Biobricks.
Then we headed out to dinner and a night on the town!