Human Practices

From a local lake to global change, our project embodies a commitment to humanity at every stage.


Human practices are something we tried to consider throughout our entire project, from the very first meeting when we decided to participate in the iGEM, while we were brainstorming ideas, and then even later when we started our experiments. Our entire idea was based on helping our local community first, before even considering expanding it to a larger scale. We focused on our local lake, having observed its pollution levels throughout the years, and then we gathered water samples from the very same lake, trying to address as many of our community needs as possible through our ideas and experiments. So, we knew we had to get in touch with the community, look for opinions, get reviews and improve based on them. If our project consists of a solution to help the world, then we knew we had to think of the world with our every step.


A key element in implementing a solution such as the one we’re proposing is first ensuring whether or not the general public is aware of the problem we’re trying to fix in the first place. In order to gauge the public’s awareness, we decided to send out a survey and see what the people our age think about lake pollution, oil spills and the solution we proposed.

The questionnaire consisted of four parts, with five possible answers (No. 1 - I strongly agree, No. 2 - I agree, No. 3 - Neutral, No. 4 - I disagree, No. 5 - I strongly disagree) and it was answered by 62 people. As displayed in the chart below, 30.6% of the questioned people thought lake pollution to be a serious problem, while 43.5% found it mildly concerning, 16.1% were indifferent, 4.8% didn’t think it was an issue, and 4.8% strongly disagreed it was a problem.

For the next part of the survey, we first explained what our project idea consisted of and then we gathered opinions regarding whether or not people agreed it could be a viable solution. As displayed in the chart below, the majority of the answers were in agreement with our proposed solution (35.5% strongly agreed and 32.3% agreed).

And for the final part of our survey, we inquired whether or not our experimental approach to achieving our goal was a viable one or not. We shortly explained it and then asked whether or not people found our experiments useful in achieving our goal. As displayed, most people were in agreement.

For the final part of the survey, we decided to give the public the chance to ask us questions, address their concerns and worries. Once we had their replies, we tried to respond to as many of them as possible, and if necessary, adapt our project to fix the issues that were presented to us.

Performing this questionnaire was a very interesting experience as we had the opportunity to see different points of view of people coming from all walks of life. We tried to reach as abroad an audience as possible, by posting the survey on our social media advertising it at school, sending it to friends and family and asking as many people as possible to forward it to others. In the end, it was amazing to see that all these different people thought our idea was a possible solution that could help minimize pollution in the future.

"Life safe crossing"

On the 7th of September 2023, two members of our team went to an edition of the “Life Safe Crossing” conference, which was held in our hometown, and presented the key aspects of iGEM and of our project in front of 100+ Romanian environmental specialists. We were very grateful to be presented with such an opportunity! Bringing awareness to the problems we’re trying to fight and sharing our ideas in front of likeminded people was a truly rewarding experience.

"European Researcher's Night"

A few weeks later, on 29th of September, four members of our team participated in the “European Researcher’s Night” held at the National Institute of Transylvania University in Brasov, where, over the course of four hours, we talked about our project to hundreds of pupils, students, and professors and distributed flyers with more information about our project. It was so fun to show young kids through a microscope a tiny amount of the cyanobacteria we were working with in our experiments and watch their faces light up in amazement when they learned they were actually looking at one of the first organisms to even appear on Earth. Even more rewarding was chatting with parents or professors, or just like-minded people about our project, have them say their thoughts on the matter, express their concerns or their enthusiasm for our solution! We valued each and every feedback we received and we hope our project is better now thanks to it!