Team:CIDEB-UANL Mexico/hp race


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iGEM CIDEB 2014 - Project

Race for Science

As it is said: “Mens sana in corpore sano” (healthy mind in a healthy body), we, as a team, believe that everyone should enjoy a healthy life, in which there is a balance between study and physical activity.

So after making the “Explosion”, once people knew what we do in iGEM, we wanted to expand the knowledge and interest of people about our project. That's why we decided to organize this "Carrera por la Ciencia" (Race 4 Science), which included a circuit of about 4 kilometers and at the end a fair with entertaining games related to the project.

Thus, the event gave us the ability to combine physical exercise with information about our project and synthetic biology, in a way that people could spend time together as a family and learn at the same time.


The objectives of the race were:

• Spreading the project information in both the academic and non-academic community, in a fun, innovating and accessible way

• Promoting physical activities that have a beneficial impact on human health and helping cultivate a balance between body and mind

This last concept seems particularly important for us, especially in Mexico, where the rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyle are disturbing.

According to an article from University Herald, Mexico is considered as the world's fattest country with a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, surpassing United States' 31.8 obesity rate, according to a study released, June by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). About 70 percent of Mexican adults are considered to be overweight.


The race was held within the campus “Mederos” of the UANL. The attendees were summoned at 6:30 am, so that the event could start at 7:00 am. We welcomed about 600 participants, ranging in age from 7 years to third age.

The event was promoted through a personal invitation to the people in our high school, and it was suggested to invite their other family members or friends to join them. Posters were also made with all the information about the event; they were pasted in different parts of the school and simultaneously posted digitally on the official page of the iGEM CIDEB team on Facebook.

At 7:00 am a warm-up session was performed. The session was developed with the help of a professional, who lead a dance for about 30 minutes, replacing conventional exercises by turning it into something fun. The mascot of our team had a very active participation warming-up with the attendees, which contributed to do the exercises correctly and with encouragement..

We then proceeded to take the participants to the start area. The first whom started running were the women, 5 minutes later, the men.

The start of the route was the main entrance to our school. Then, the road stretched by the campus’ internal streets to the Faculty of Economics, and then the participants resumed their route in the opposite direction of the streets to return to the entrance of the school.

Along the route, there were people placed on the sidewalk with informational posters about different synthetic biology fun facts, general information about the project, information on the impact that our project would have on society, etc. At the halfway point, several people could be found giving away small bags of water to hydrate the runners.

At the end, the participants returned to the starting point (the front of the school building). In this place, there were different modules with information relevant to our project. Each module included an allusive game to every action of the bacterium (Capture, Union, Resistance and Aroma), this in order that people could learn in an easy and interactive way. Thus, while participants rested, they could observe and receive a brief explanation of our project, and they could play and get vouchers which could be exchanged for prizes.


Two weeks before, the students learned from the DNA WEEK what was our project about, so they made comments such as “Hi E.CARU!” to our costume, or “Is this from iGEM?” and “How can I get in?” to our team members. Even in the game time, when looking at it, some of them were able to recognize easily the parts referring to our project. (Each game was created to give a reference about our project, its modules and their function).

People, who were not students and hadn’t received those talks, were asking about the iGEM team and the project that we are doing. They asked how does it work, how did we do it, what will it be able to do, and more. They were very interested; even though they did not want to play because they were older, they were paying attention when the younger ones were playing and also to the explanation that the team members gave.

The race was a complete success. We had received supportive comments during it, and we realized that people were interested in what we are doing, that they are also having more knowledge about it, and they also had a good time, spending time with their families and friends

iGEM CIDEB 2014 - Footer