Team:CIDEB-UANL Mexico/hp dnaweek


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iGEM CIDEB 2014 - Project

DNA Week

Objective and Description

Even though iGEM has been in our high school since 2012, most students still did not know what it is about. We have as a goal that future generations inside CIDEB show more interest and curiosity towards biology, and as a consequence, towards iGEM.

We, as a team, consider important that if we want everybody to know what iGEM is and that our high school is involved in it, the starting point must be inside our own institution.

With the purpose of spreading iGEM and our project, and taking advantage of the international DNA Day (April 25th), we organized the DNA Week.


Image 1. Students listening and participating in the presentations.

Our DNA Week consisted of a series of presentations and activities, which were given to all groups of the generation that have a chance to be part of the next iGEM CIDEB team. We asked permission to 3 different biology teachers, and we organized the dates and hours in a 4-day schedule, in May 12th, 13th, 14th, and 16th. We did a PowerPoint presentation with information about iGEM and our project. We also performed two activities referring to synthetic biology and to our project between the information given, with the purpose of keeping the audience interested in what we were talking about.


What is iGEM?

A general explanation of the iGEM competition.

What is synthetic biology?

The creation of biological machines in order to give new features to organisms.

Talking about DNA

A brief explanation of DNA and genes, which make every organism different from each other.



The first game represented the insertion of modified plasmids to the bacteria.

They used toy guns to shoot the different plasmids into three different bacteria,

taking into account the difference between red, green, and yellow fluorescence proteins in each bacteria.


IGEM in our high school

CIDEB_UANL has participated in the iGEM competition for the last 2 years, obtaining the 3rd place in each one.

CIDEB 2014’s project

E.CARU consists in 4 modules:

- The capture of Na+ ions

- The productions of an aroma (Wintergreen)

- Resistance to different environmental conditions

- Binding to silica pearls.


The last game consisted of a bacteria which two students had to transform

into E.CARU, placing in it the characteristics that make it unique:

muscles of resistance, a drawn silica pearl representing the binding

of the bacteria, leaves of aroma and sodium ions (Na+), which represented the capture module.



We achieved our objective. During the explanation, the students appeared surprised and interested about the IGEM competition and our project. The response given by the rest of the students, of curiosity and participation, is a very important approach because we awoke their scientific interest and their enthusiasm to do something related to it. By listening to us and playing the games, students came closer to the team members asking more about how we were doing our project, what should they do if they want to participate, what do we do in each one of our sub-teams (math model, human practices, safety, and other), and they were even asking us about the posters we placed around the school. They showed a lot of interest. Even teachers approached the team to know about our work.

While the last year’s project was only known by a few students, this year is a completely different situation. Now, thanks to activities like this, most of the students at CIDEB know about iGEM. This is a good thing because some of them will form the new iGEM CIDEB generation next year, and the possibilities of gaining members who are really interested has increased.


Image 2. Student learning about our project

iGEM CIDEB 2014 - Footer