Presentations of synthetic biology in High Schools.

We presented the basis of synthetic biology in 2 high schools students. On the 20th of May, we were in Lucien de Hirsch high school in Paris to present to two classes of the scientific eleventh grader and the 7 of june we were in La Bruyére high school in Versaille also for the scientific eleventh grader.

We had a one-hour session with each class. We started with a short presentation of 20 minutes about synthetic biology in order to explain the students the basis of that science with examples. Thanks to that, they had the knowledge necessary for the activity we have prepared to put into practice what they just have learned.

In our presentation, we explained to the students what synthetic biology is and in what domains we can use it (with many examples). They also discovered the iGEM competition and our project Cinergy. The students had many interesting questions regarding the examples we showed them and especially about our project that they find very innovative.

After the presentation, we proposed them an activity in which they had to make their own plasmid to create an organism with new properties. For that, we have modeled and print 3D plasmid puzzles, each pieces representing a specific property. To guide and inspired them they had a list of Bio-Bricks and properties that they could use.

The class was divided in 3 or 4 groups and we asked them to think of a problem and to find a solution by creating their own modified organism. We guide them throughout the activity by talking and giving them advice about the feasibility of their idea.  

All the students participated to the activity and they found interesting ideas. Some of them were not achievable but others could have been used as a project for the iGEM competition!

This was really interesting because it allows us to discuss with the students about synthetic biology, using their knowledge and their creativity.

Thank you to Lucien De Hirsch high school and La Bruyére High school for allowing us to present our project in their establishment.

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