Team:CIDEB-UANL Mexico/hp race


Revision as of 16:06, 19 June 2014 by FernandaPuente (Talk | contribs)

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 for Science), which included a circuit of about 4 kilometers and at the end a fair with entertaining games related to the project in a way that people could spend time together as a family and learn at the same time.

Thus, the event gave us the ability to combine the information about our project and synthetic biology, with physical exercise. This last concept is particularly important for us, especially in Mexico, where the rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyle are disturbing.


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

Monterrey is an industrial city where most people lead stressful and sedentary lifestyles. We, as a part of this society, are too familiar with the dangers of obesity and the prevalent lack of healthy diet and exercise habits.

This, combined with the need to develop our project in the Human Practices area, is the reason why we felt motivated to organize this Race for Science.

The main purposes of the Race for Science were:

• To spread information about the project within both the academic and non-academic community, in a fun, innovating and accessible way

• To promote physical activities that have a beneficial impact on human health and thus, help cultivate a balance between body and mind

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

1st Stage of the Race: Physical Activity

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

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, turning conventional exercises into something fun. The mascot of our team had a very active participation in the warm-up, which encouraged the people to do the exercises properly and enthusiastically.

We then proceeded to take the participants to the start area. The women’s group was the first one to start running, followed 5 minutes later by the men’s group.

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.

2nd Stage of the Race: Project information

Along the route, there were people on the sidewalks with informative signs about different synthetic biology fun facts, general information about the project, about 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 this point, we had already accomplished one of the main objectives of the race (to promote physical activity). The next step was encouraging people to learn more about our project (and have some fun while doing so).

At the end of the route, the participants returned to the starting point (the parking of the school). 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), so that people could learn in an easy and interactive way. Thus, while participants took a break, they could observe and receive a brief explanation of our project, and they could play and get coupons 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 working on. 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 while the younger ones were playing and listened 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. The assistants gained knowledge about our project while having a good time, spending time with their families and friends.


United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). (2008). The state of food and agriculture. Retrieved from:

iGEM CIDEB 2014 - Footer