Our education contains two sections, one is focused on the education of the field of synthetic biology, including the basic knowledge and principals. On the other hand, we pursue the publication of the knowledge of the topic intestinal health, especially about the correlation between short-chain fatty acid and intestinal disease. We are committed to apply rational and mathematical methods including surveys and data analyzation methods in our education. During the education, we properly utilized many survey methods and interdisciplinary knowledge to properly and precisely pick up information of the current knowledge that our educated group possess. We carefully considered plenty of factors that might affect the result of the education, including what might the educated want to learn about, the optimal content that would enable the best understanding and so on.

PART I: Synthetic Biology

Inspiration & Overview

During developments of activities of the competition when we introduce our project, one of the most frequent questions that we were asked was “what is synthetic biology?”. We soon came to a realization that the field of synthetic biology is poorly understood by people around us. Since the field is and will be a significantly practical approach to solve countless numbers of current issues around the world, including producing certain medicine with high efficiency; synthesizing biological product with a higher speed and so on. Therefore, the education of the field towards the public is crucial.

hrough the education process, we first fixed our educational target, which are the peers around us. This decision on our target is simply due to the consideration of the relatively low difficulty to disseminate information among such people, since they surely possess the basic biological knowledge to gain a full understanding of our content. (“The public” in the following text is what we mentioned above) We first conducted a survey to collect the basic information of how well does the public know about the topic. Then, with such information, we conduced speeches and posted scientific articles on the social media. After that, we surveyed the public on how they felt about our activities and conducted further education based on such feedback.


In order to know specifically to what degree does the public understand the field of synthetic biology, we conducted a public survey at our school. The result was similar to what we have expected. Within 143 people that we investigated, less than 50% of them have never heard of the field. Furthermore, about 26% of them merely heard the name but had no further understanding. Disappointingly, none of the 143 people actually conducted any experiments or even watched the process of any experiment of synthetic biology. However, what is optimistic is more than 90% of the people are willing to know more about the field.

From the survey, we are able to conduct a further action of education in a more rational approach. Since a considerable portion of people are glad to know more about synthetic biology, and not much had any knowledge, we figured that we should compose some scientific articles that popularize the basic knowledge and conduct lectures and courses.


In an effort to hold our educational activities in a more organized and effective way, we formed our own club at school. Based on the data produced by the survey, we conducted in total three lectures, each explained a different aspect of synthetic biology. The topics are respectively: “What is synthetic biology”, “Through what methods are synthetic biology experiments conducted” and “How are synthetic biology used in different fields”.

Lecture one

Through the first lecture, we first defined what synthetic biology is. During this process, the major difficulty in conducting the lecture is how to provide a clear insight in the field of synthetic biology to a group of people who are rather ignorance in such field. We generated several special methods. First of all, we figured that analogy is a fine approach for people to understand new terms. Psychologically speaking, people tend to get better memory and understanding of a new object when it is related to something familiar to them. To be specific, during the explanation, we compared synthetic biology part with LEGO blocks, since both build together to produce a whole new functional product, and what matters is how these blocks are arranged and cooperate with one another. We then introduced the history of synthetic biology, which included when and where did the subject first originate, some major contributors to the subject, and the developing process of the subject. After that, we explained the current situation of the field, including what impact does the field have on our life, how might the field further develop in the near future, and what are some major difficulties that the field is facing.

Lecture two

Before we actually carry out the second lecture, we first did a minor survey within several classmates of ours to investigate to what extend do they understand the standard process and matters needing attention of regular biological experiments to conduct a better lecture for the second topic (“Through what methods are synthetic biology experiments conducted”). The results of the survey were quite satisfactory this time, more than 75% of people has the basic knowledge on frequently lab equipment, and more than 47% knows how to use them. With such knowledge in hand, we were able to give a lecture with more advanced knowledge and in a more compact pace. We first introduced the basic and general methods of biological experiments including bacteria control, the optimal condition for bacteria reproduction and so on. Since we have already given general facts that synthetic biology operates on bacteria, this is easily understood. Then, we introduced some methods specialized in synthetic biology, including PCR, electrophoresis, and plasmid extraction.

Lecture three

Since each of our group member has a variety of minor subjects except for biology, the last topic was conducted relatively effortless. Each of our members respectively introduced the connection between their minor subjects and synthetic biology. Each of us respectively introduced the tight relationship between synthetic biology and our familiar fields, including engineering, materials science, neuroscience, chemistry and so on. We explained how synthetic biology greatly increased the efficiency in mass production, how did synthetic biology help us synthesize products that once required a much high cost, and how could synthetic biology improve our health conditions.

Scientific articles:

Other than conducting the lectures, we also posted scientific articles on several social media. The main medium that we used is named Wechat, one of the most prevalent social media in China. These articles varied from topic to topic. Some recorded and explained the lectures that we conducted, some introduced the recent breakthroughs in the field, and others explained some basic knowledge about the field that we did not introduce during the lectures. These articles are widely viewed and indeed helped the public see the rising field of science.

Part II: Intestinal Health

Importance & Background Information

It is said that up to 90% of the Chinese people has different degrees of digestive system issues. These issues include indigestion, enteritis, adenoma, Intestinal polyps, and intestinal cancer. One of the main causes of this is the low awareness of potential risks in people’s daily life that might cause such disease. Therefore, there is a great need of education to prevent people from such life-threatening neglects. We fulfilled this need by conducting educational activities about intestinal health related knowledge that are beneficial to public health.

Our study and many studies conducted by other medical workers showed that intestinal butyrate level is correlated to the inflammation the intestine. Lower butyrate level might reflect higher possibilities of intestinal inflammation and vise-versa.

We are hosting an online seminar to make it convenient for everyone to participate and to ensure that this seminar reaches a wider audience.


As usual, we conducted a survey to check the portion of people that once or is still suffering from some common digestive system diseases. The situation is not as critical as the anecdotal information (90%), but it is still surprising. Up to 71% of the participants had the situations mentioned above and most of them had no slightest idea on the reason for it. Among these people 74% of them are above the age of 35. This shows that we should not mainly educate the students around us but to a wider public including people that are not around us.

It is clear that it is the low consciousness caused such severe issues. Therefore, we had to focus on raising public awareness. Therefore, we focused on special methods that might enable us to fulfill this need. We figured that the consequences that neglects might cause could be a helpful tool for us. Since it is Chinese people’s tradition to fear health issues, and is most countries around the world of course, once people realize that such habits might cause great negative effects to their health, more attention would certainly be paid on such topic. To raise public awareness through the media of fear, we decided to visualize the ghastly and specific data of death numbers caused by such issues by making comparisons and showing graphs.



We first targeted our own family, each of our team member recorded what is on each meal and when was the meal at their own family. From these records, we integrated these data and analyzed what are the most commonly appeared harmful habits. We provided the knowledge that we have for our own family to suggest them to decrease their possibility of have digestive diseases. We were devoted to help the people around us first.

Not only did we focus on the people around us. With some common knowledge obtained from smaller scale, in-family experiments and publicizations, we could more accurately solve the larger public’s problems. For instance, we found that it is a common habit to drinking hot water, which is believed to be beneficial to digestive health, in our own family. However, scientifically speaking, this is a somewhat unhealthy habit. Therefore, we put this on the list of “harmful living habits” during our education towards the public.

Lectures and articles:

Since we are aiming to educate a wider public, conducting lectures might be very difficult. Therefore, we centered on posting articles. In these articles, we showed the public why should we pay attention to intestinal health, what might cause intestinal diseases, how might intestinal diseased influence our wellbeing, what we might be able to do to prevent; monitor or cure such diseases.

Even if it is not easy to conduct lectures, we were still able to conduct one small scale lecture. During the lecture, we introduced the facts that we’ve mentioned in the articles. Furthermore, we showed the audience the device that we’ve made to monitor intestinal health in order to present them with an example to intestinal health monitoring methods.

Inter-team communication

Not only did we put in effort to educate the public, we also paid attention on the communication among Igem teams in Beijing. We communicated with two established teams, team BIT-China and team BIT. During the communication, all of our teams introduced our own projects and shared what we’ve learned during the preparation of the competition. This communication process greatly inspired us and promoted us to accomplish a more ideal and perfect educational process.

Overall Result

After each educational procedure, we made an additional survey to learn about how the educated felt about the activity and what they learned through the lectures and articles. The result of such education is successful, after our education, the public, including school students, school teachers, family members and the wider public has all gained a better insight in both the field of synthetic biology and intestinal health issues. We believe that we successfully shared our own knowledge and we tried to enhance the public awareness of intestinal health. We believe many of them will establish healthier living habit and idea, as well as forming healthier living habits.