To open the door of biology to a broader section of the community and provide equal opportunities for all, we have been working on inclusion with a focus on blind and visually impaired people. To approach this matter, we reviewed expert recommendations on living with visual impairment and aids in daily life to better understand barriers, perspectives, and potential solutions. During a test run in the lab, we got our own impression by putting ourselves in the shoes of visually impaired people to identify and test possible barriers. This enabled us to develop possible aids in the lab, including a tangible pipette according to the criteria of universal design.

One of our goals was also to educate young children about biology and ignite their fascination for nature through the creation of a tactile children's book in Braille, accompanied by a corresponding audio book that tells the story of Rubee, the little bee. We have presented the results on our inclusively designed wiki and in two pamphlets, which will also assist future teams in addressing inclusion. Throughout our work, we focused on incorporating the advice of our interviewees to address the issue as effectively as possible.

In addition to blind and visually impaired people, we have also made it our mission to include the older generation. Elderly people possess a lot of life experience and often have interesting perspectives on various aspects of life. To include them and stimulate a transgenerational dialogue about synthetic biology, we visited a retirement home and engaged in conversations with residents about the application of synthetic biology in our daily lives and our project, BeeVAX.

Our inclusivity work can be divided into five main areas: inform, analyze, redefine, apply, include and share. To inform ourselves about our project, we have conducted interviews with a school and an association for blind and impaired people in addition to our background research. During the area of Analyze, we evaluated the information obtained before and highlighted possible barriers sight-impaired people face in biology. Additionally, we have conducted a lab run to identify barriers. To redefine the situation, we have developed solutions for the barriers detected during the lab run and altered the lab work. We have also designed a haptic pipette. To apply the information obtained, we coded an inclusive wiki and created a children’s book with an associated audio book. In the area of Include and Share, we visited a retirement home and designed pamphlets with tips on inclusivity. In the end, we presented our results and instructions on our wiki.

Target Group

To this day, many disabled people continue to be excluded from various activities on numerous occasions, impacting not only their leisure time but also their professional lives. In 2017, the employment rate for blind and visually impaired people in the United States of America was only 44.2% [1]. Despite the potential benefits that inclusion can bring in terms of diverse perspectives and new opportunities, it is often insufficiently implemented or simply unavailable.

As our work primarily takes place in laboratories, we are aware that most scientific tasks rely on the ability to see. Identifying color differences in reactions, adjusting instruments, or measuring the right volume of a liquid are just a few examples of regular laboratory work that require unimpaired vision. Additionally, biology itself can be challenging to grasp, for instance, as organisms like small insects or bacteria cannot be sensed without additional assistance. For this reason, the focus of our inclusion work is on the target group of blind and visually impaired people. With our project we want to cover not only the group of middle-aged people, but also include children and older generations. Our goal is to identify the specific challenges they face and determine how we can contribute to providing them with improved access to the scientific field of biology.

The image shows a row of people including a blind a person in the middle. The people stand in front of a globe.

"Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth."

Visual Impairments

The eyes serve as essential sensory organs for humans, responsible for processing a significant portion of daily information. 80% of the information we process daily is obtained from visual data. In case of blindness, people rely on their remaining senses, often touch and hearing, to compensate for the lack of visual input [2]. A person is considered visually impaired if he or she has no more than 30% vision in the better eye, despite wearing glasses or contact lenses [3].

However, it is crucial to understand the prevalence of visual impairment and blindness in Germany. In 2021, the total number of affected people exceeded 334,000+. Among these, nearly 66,000 people experienced complete blindness or the loss of both eyes, while 43,000 people had severe visual impairment, for instance, visual acuity ranging from 5% to 2%. 225,000 people were affected by other visual impairments [4].

The figure shows the number of visually impaired people in Germany. Plotted are the case numbers per type of visual impairment. The number of people with other visual impairments in Germany in 2021 amounts to 225,340, whereas only 66,245 people suffered from blindness or the loss of both eyes. 43,015 people had high-grade visual impairments, which sums up to a total of 334,600 people.
Figure 1: Number of visually impaired people in Germany in 2021 [5]. Plotted are the case numbers per type of visual impairment.

Shown is the vision of different types of visual impairments compared to the vision without visual impairments. The vision without impairments has no effect on the view; the picture of a sunflower remains sharp. The Amsler grid affects the vision with a white blur in the center of view. Whereas Glaucoma affects the view through a black grid. The view of people with Cataract is mainly blurred, whereas Macular degeneration has similar effects on the vision as Amsler grid. Diabetic Retinopathy influences the vision with black spots.
Figure 2: Shown is the vision of different types of visual impairments compared to the vision without visual impairments. a) Vision without visual impairments. b) Amsler grid. c) Glaucoma. d) Cataract. e) Macular degeneration. f) Diabetic Retinopathy. [8]

Visual impairments include a wide range of conditions. One of them is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD stands as the most prevalent cause of severe visual impairment or blindness among people over 50 years of age in industrialized countries. In this condition, deposits resulting from disrupted metabolic process impair the retina's blood supply [6]. Diabetic patients face a heightened risk of developing eye diseases like Diabetic Retinopathy or Diabetic Macular Edema. Both conditions arise from damage to the blood vessels in the eye due to the fluctuating blood glucose levels caused by insulin deficiency [7].

Other examples of eye diseases include Glaucoma and Cataract. While Cataract involves a clouding of the lens and so limits vision, Glaucoma results from an imbalance between intraocular pressure and blood flow in the eye [7]. Impaired vision can also stem from causes such as Retinal Detachment (detachment of the retina from the choroid), Retinis Pigmentosa (hereditary death of the pigment cells in the retina) or Uveitis (inflammatory disease of the uvea) [7].

These represent only a selection of eye-related conditions that can result in visual impairment. Ensuring equal opportunities for people with blindness or visual impairment in the workplace necessitates the adoption of their working environment. However, a 2018 survey revealed that only 66% of the respondents reported having a workplace designed to accommodate disabilities [4].

As the iGEM Münster team, we are committed to enhancing this situation by implementing a series of measures aimed at creating a more disability-friendly laboratory working environment. We will outline our approach in the following sections.

Interview with Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The best way to learn more about visual impairments and the practical implementation of inclusion strategies is by engaging in conversations with those who are directly affected. Therefore, we visited the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Münster to talk with two members of the management team, who are both blind. The association serves as a meeting place for people with all kinds of visual impairments. It offers them the opportunity to receive assistance and advice if needed, connect with others facing similar challenges, and participate in exciting excursions alongside other visually impaired people. Through this interview, our primary aim was to gain a deeper understanding of the needs and challenges that blind or visually impaired people encounter in the context of biology.

Key Insights and Challenges

After learning more about the initiatives and objectives of the association, we talked about the need to include visually impaired people and that it is often still an issue. The interview started with insights into the everyday navigation techniques used by blind people, both outdoors and indoors, utilizing navigation systems, a blind cane, and the tactile guide system on the floors, which are essential tools for their mobility. This led us to discuss the resulting challenges of experiencing nature, such as walking through forests and meadows where obstacles or open spaces pose difficulties. Insects cannot be seen or experienced through touch; birds in the sky or trees cannot be captured; and numerous other obstacles exist. After receiving this valuable insight, we wanted to create solutions that enable sight-impaired people to truly experience biology and nature without seeing it. Potential ideas included 3D models, both on a larger-than-life scale and on a true-to-life scale, to demonstrate the size ratio and shape of animals in relation to each other.

Next to experiencing nature, we discussed general tips to keep in mind to enable biological work for sight-impaired people, including the use of contrast, different sizes, and haptic models. To make information displayed on posters, flyers, and other documents accessible to visually impaired and blind people, QR codes can be used. These codes lead to online information that can be read aloud by screen readers. We also received valuable advice regarding the accessibility of our wiki, along with information about experts and exemplary websites we can use as models.


In summary, the interview proved to be an immensely informative experience. It provided us with valuable insights into the world of blind and visually impaired people, along with a deeper understanding of the challenges they encounter when engaging with biology. This knowledge not only enriched our work but also inspired innovative approaches to address these issues effectively.

Interview with "Irisschule" - Promoting Inclusion of Visually Impaired and Blind People in Biology and STEM

To initiate our work in promoting the inclusion of blind and visually impaired people in the field of biology and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), we first had a close look at the issue and engaged in conversations with experts in the field. Our objective was to establish a strong foundation for our work.

Our first conversation was with two teachers from the "Irisschule", a school for blind and visually impaired children located in Münster. Uta de Byl, one of the teachers, specializes in the supervision of the preschool children at the school and is involved in the development of accessible teaching materials. Meanwhile, Judith Schulz is part of the project "Gemeinsam lernen" ("Learning together"), which offers support and guidance to blind and visually impaired students attending regular schools, along with their teachers, in matters related to inclusive education.

We were well advised by these interview partners, as they themselves deal with the inclusion of visually impaired people on a daily basis. Their understanding enables them to comprehend the specific needs and to answer our questions from the perspectives of sighted and visually impaired people.

Through the interview, we wanted to learn more about the barriers and difficulties of visually impaired children, as well as already established solutions for these barriers. The aim of the conversation was to find ways for the better involvement of visually impaired people in the biological field and the laboratory, as well as to ignite a spark for biology among visually impaired children. This was achieved by setting the focus on laboratory work, the children's book and our wiki or websites in general. The insights derived from this conversation were to be integrated into our ongoing work.

Key Insights and Challenges

One of the most significant insights we gained was that every visual impairment is individual and therefore no one-fits-all solution exists. However, there are a few broader areas where adjustments can be made to enhance accessibility. These include paying attention to contrasts. High contrasts enable visually impaired people to recognize and distinguish between different objects. Factors, such as font type and size play an important role in letter differentiation, which allows them to read more easily. Additionally, optimal lighting conditions are important in many environments, requiring individual adaptability to accommodate light-sensitive eyes or specific lighting needs.

Furthermore, we were given an understanding of how blind, or sight-impaired children get to know and experience objects with the use of models and how they are slowly being introduced to the use of illustrations in books. To enlarge writings or representations, digital devices or magnifying glasses are often used for help. These represent just a few examples of the valuable insights we have gained during our talk.

As the interview progressed, we were given a tour of the school. This practical experience allowed us to witness firsthand the concepts we had discussed and what has already been applied to aid visually impaired children through their everyday school life. By trying on glasses that simulate moderate sight impairments, we were able to put ourselves in the shoes of sight-impaired people, helping us to experience the problems and solutions for ourselves.


Overall, the conversation provided us with a good impression and overview of the challenges faced by visually impaired people and what should be considered for their inclusion. The interview laid the perfect foundation for our project "Inclusion of Visually Impaired People in Biology".

The first picture shows an inclusively designed book with Braille and two crafted flowers.
The next picture shows the the school entrance and a braille alphabet.
The third picture shows the hallway in the school with a blind guide system.

Barriers for Sight Impaired People in Life Sciences

Inclusion strategies for people with visual impairments, including blindness, are not only lacking in daily life but also in the workplace and the laboratory environment. The following text, based on our expert interviews, aims to highlight some of the primary barriers an affected person is facing while addressing life sciences and the general acquisition of information.

In the laboratory setting, one significant challenge revolves around orientation. Laboratories are often designed with a predominantly white color scheme, making it challenging to recognize elements such as light switches and distinguish between workspaces and writing areas. Moreover, identifying hazardous spaces or materials can be particularly problematic, as they can be hard to identify as such. Additional barriers arise when visually impaired people attempt to locate and identify samples, chemicals, and materials, as standard labels are typically small and challenging to read. Furthermore, distinguishing between frequently used transparent samples and glassware against the background poses difficulties. Therefore, it can be challenging for affected people to evaluate experiments, as they often rely on visual evaluation.

Another significant challenge faced by visually impaired people is their perception of nature, starting with its accessibility. Walking on open fields and in forests, for instance, presents a great burden due to obstacles or difficult orientation in open spaces. Moreover, the absence of visual perception can complicate the comprehension of biological mechanisms. One example would be the perception of insects, as they are hard to experience by touch, or the visual depiction of cells that are often presented in a two-dimensional way.

When addressing the reception of information, pictures and graphs can present a barrier, as they cannot be interpreted by screen readers. Insufficient contrast and the use of certain fonts may also pose readability issues for some visually impaired people. Furthermore, certain information may only be available in printed form, making it inaccessible and not adjustable to individual needs.

All these barriers and many more may prevent visually impaired people from participating in the fields of biology and laboratory work, as they often heavily rely on external assistance. To address these challenges, we have committed ourselves to the goal of adapting laboratory environments to better accommodate the needs of visually impaired people, thereby providing them with improved access to the field of biology.

Testing Barriers in the Laboratory

Even though laboratory work is an important component of biology, it often lacks inclusiveness. This is despite the fact that the inclusion of diverse groups offers a broader spectrum of perspectives and ideas, allowing further insights. To better understand the exact issues that blind and sight-impaired people are facing in the laboratory and gain a better understanding of the barriers identified by our background research, we have designed our own test run. Equipped with vision-restricting glasses, we have conducted basic experiments in the laboratory. After adjusting the laboratory to improve the conditions, the run was repeated.


The lab run, conducted with vision-restriction glasses, was split into experiments common for the daily lab work. We started with the orientation in the lab. Subsequently, a PCR master mix was to be prepared, for which the required samples were to be selected from the freezer and then pipetted together. The next task was to microscope bacteria. For this purpose, a liquid culture was first pipetted onto a slide and then analyzed under a microscope.

Barriers and Solutions:

While conducting the laboratory run, we encountered several barriers. Building on this, we addressed the issues and developed practical solutions based on expert interviews and prior research. The most significant challenges and their solutions are presented in Fig. 3.

During our laboratory run, we identified six main barriers, for which 
  we developed associated solutions and applied them in the new run. Barrier 
  one was the orientation in the laboratory. A possible solution can be the 
  marking of workspaces, light switches, and dangerous areas with colored tape. 
  The second barrier was posed by the identification of the right samples, devices,
  and materials. Keeping an order or using an online lab book where the place of 
  each sample is registered. Additionally, adjusting the pipette’s volume without
  vision was difficult, which is why magnifying glasses or a pipette with 
  tangible numbers can be used. The fourth barrier is derived from pipetting 
  see-through samples with colorless pipette tips, which is why in the second 
  run we have used colorful pipette tips and solutions when possible. Barrier 
  five was posed by the recognition of glassware or see-through objects on
  white workplaces, which we fixed by using non-slip pads in black or other
  colors. Making out images under the microscope was the last main barrier 
  we faced during our lab run. To solve it, we used a screen to magnify the 
Figure 3: During our laboratory run, we identified six main barriers, for which we developed associated solutions and applied them in the second trial run.


During our laboratory run, we learned that even basic experiments still pose a lot of obstacles for people with impaired vision. The developed solutions are steps in the right direction and offer easy application and incorporation into the daily lab work, allowing people with restricted vision an entrance into biological lab work. However, we have only been scratching the surface of what is possible, as our solutions merely facilitate the work and are not applicable to all kinds of sight impairments.

While establishing solutions, we were focusing mainly on including people still retaining vision or suffering from eye diseases caused by Diabetes mellitus or Glaucoma, as they still allow partial vision [7, 8], since some experiments or applications require the person to recognize liquids or colors. Lab work can also pose a threat to blind people, as experiments can require harmful chemicals or centrifuges need to be balanced, for which vision is often needed. To determine how proper inclusion is achievable, further experiments need to be conducted, offering a wider range of applications and environmental surroundings.

Even though we promote the inclusion of visually impaired people in the lab, we would like to emphasize that the work should be performed with caution. A focus should be placed on the proper labeling of hazardous materials or other potentially harmful areas. This is also why we have been focusing on the inclusion of people with restricted vision suffering from moderately severe sight impairments (≥5% vision [3]).

We hope that our laboratory run results will inspire future biologists to build upon them and contribute a significant step towards improved inclusion.

Tactile Pipette

Pipetting is a fundamental task in every microbiology laboratory, enabling the precise transfer of small volumes of liquid with high accuracy. However, the traditional adjustment relies on a small number sheet, requiring manual visual adjustment. This can present a significant barrier for people with visual impairments or restricted fields of view, as we have analyzed during our laboratory run. By designing a new pipette that enables haptic perception in addition to visual perception, we aim to tackle this problem and enable the inclusivity of visually impaired people in the routine tasks of a wet lab.

The design of the pipette has been thoughtfully aligned with the seven principles of Universal Design, which are presented in Fig. 4 [9]. Universal Design aims to design products, environments, and services to ensure their simple use and accessibility to a wide range of users [10]. By incorporating a tactile sheet onto the pipette's number sheet, we facilitate touch-based perception of the volume indicators, eliminating the need for magnifying glasses or other visual aids. This modification ensures that using the pipette remains simple and intuitive for both sighted and visually impaired people due to a restriction of the changes to a minimum.

Figure 4: Presented are the seven Principles of Universal Design: 1) Equitable Use; 2) Flexibility in Use; 3) Simple and Intuitive Use; 4) Perceptible Information; 5) Tolerance for Error; 6) Low Physical Error; 7) Size and Space for Approach and Use.
Figure 4: Presented are the seven Principles of Universal Design: 1) Equitable Use; 2) Flexibility in Use; 3) Simple and Intuitive Use; 4) Perceptible Information; 5) Tolerance for Error; 6) Low Physical Error; 7) Size and Space for Approach and Use. [9]

The visualization below illustrates the modified pipette (Figure 5). To assess its usability, we created a 3D print to perform initial analyses. However, only basic tests in handling and accessibility were conducted, as the pipette is 3D printed and therefore not applicable yet for the transfer of liquids.

Figure 5: The picture shows the visualization of a pipette with a tactile number sheet.
Figure 5: Visualization of a pipette with a tactile number sheet.

The first results already showed that the use of the modified pipette does not differ for sighted users, but our analysis indicated that the inclusion of tactile numbers can significantly improve laboratory work for those with visual impairments, requiring minimal additional effort. Therefore, the work in the field of molecular biology can be substantially simplified and made more accessible for people with visual impairments.

Website Inclusivity

Website Reader Compatibility

Visually impaired people face many challenges in their everyday lives and are often excluded from participating in parts of society. One of these parts is the World Wide Web. Websites are often designed without consideration for readability for the visually impaired [11]. Barriers faced by these people differ in their scope and severity, as visually impaired people may face unique challenges when accessing the website. A colorblind person, for example, may not be able to distinguish the text from the background if no appropriate colors are used in the web design. Another one might have difficulties reading the text due to the font and size chosen [12].

Based on these findings and the ongoing exclusion of people with limited vision, we wanted to adapt our wiki to include the group of visually impaired people in our project, making it accessible to these people. During our interview with Ms. de Byl and Ms. Schulz from the School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children in Münster and with Mr. Paaschen and Ms. Lamberts from the Association for Blind and Visually Impaired People, an institution focused on helping and consulting said people, we learned about key factors such as contrast, font, and its size. We took these considerations into account while coding our wiki. Furthermore, we tried to adapt the Web content accessibility guidelines 2.0 from the World Wide Web Consortium [13]. For instance, we use a color palette optimized for various forms of color blindness, and we chose Verdana as our font because it's widely recognized as accessible to most users [14]. Furthermore, many visually impaired people utilize screen readers for website accessibility [15]. Screen readers cannot differentiate between essential content and page links. A clear underlying organization can facilitate the accessibility of websites to screen readers. Visual indicators should only support the ability to navigate the website and not be essential [16]. Graphics and images present another potential challenge for visually impaired people, as screen readers are unable to convey the information without alternative text describing the representations [16]. Based on this, we added alternative text to all illustrations in our wiki to improve website accessibility and usability for screen readers. At last, we conducted accessibility testing on the wiki using a screen reader.

The picture shows the implementation of alternative text into our wiki code.
Figure 6: The picture shows the implementation of alternative text into our wiki code.

Website Colorblindness Compatibility

Since we have set our focus on the inclusivity of people with various visual impairments, our goal was to ensure that our wiki is designed to be accessible to those with color vision deficiencies. To achieve this, we carefully selected a color palette that is compatible with the most prevalent color vision deficiencies and offers sufficient contrast for optimal readability.

We wanted to make our wiki compatible with the four most common types of color vision deficiencies: protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia, and achromatopsia. Protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia are conditions in which an individual lacks one of the three different cones responsible for color perception. These conditions predominantly affect males. Protanopia and deuteranopia, also known as red-green blindness, occur in 1‑2% of males [17]. Protanopia involves the absence of red cones, while deuteranopia signifies the absence of green cones. Tritanopia, characterized by a blue/yellow color deficiency, is the rarest among the three, affecting less than 0.002% of people. [18] Achromatopsia is a condition in which a person is unable to perceive any colors [19].

We regularly checked our wiki using an online tool [20]. This approach enabled us to verify that people with these types of color vision deficiencies can access our wiki without encountering any limitations. Additionally, we used “Verdana” as a font for content. Verdana is a sans-serif font, which is easy to read due to its monospaced design, meaning the individual letters are the same in width [21]. At last, the website was checked by an affected person with color blindness to verify its readability. These choices align with our commitment to achieving barrier-free accessibility for the iGEM Münster wiki page.

The picture shows how the Community page of our website would be seen by a person with Achromatopsia.
The picture shows how the Community page of our website would be seen by a person with Deuteranopia.

The picture shows how the Community page of our website would be seen by a person with Protanopia.
The picture shows how the Community page of our website would be seen by a person with Tritanopia.
Figure 7: The website presentation as it would be seen by different color vision deficiencies. Top left: Achromatopsia. Top right: Deuteranopia. Bottom left: Protanopia. Bottom right: Tritanopia.

Children's Book

Book in Braille

The first books bring great joy to many children and play a formative role in their lives. Educational stories and colorful pictures shape their understanding of the world and stimulate their imagination. However, most children's books lack inclusivity, as many children with visual impairments are unable to read them or closely examine the pictures. Therefore, they often struggle or require assistance from others to read aloud and describe the images.

For this reason, we have written an inclusive children's book ourselves. The story revolves around a little bee named Rubee, who flies out into the world alone and encounters synthetic biology to help her bee colony. Through this narrative, children can learn about the potential of biology and its impact on the environment.

Our book offers a way to eliminate barriers for sight-impaired and blind children and sets an example of how inclusivity for children can be improved. After consulting with teachers from a school for people with sight impairments and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, we received valuable input on creating an appropriate book, including considerations and aspects to avoid. We also had a look at a few books created for people with visual impairments, which provided us with initial impressions.

The children's book provides various approaches to include children with different types of sight impairments or needs. The texts consist of the large black font “Verdana”, which enhances letter distinction. In addition to that, Braille is incorporated for blind children or those who prefer tactile reading. The background is white, and the font is black to create a strong contrast, making it easier to recognize the letters. Identifying pictures can be even more challenging, and simply thickening the outlines does not help to recognize the print. For visually impaired people, connecting 2D images to 3D real-life objects can be difficult. For this reason, we crafted the illustrations and made sure to use as many different materials as possible. In this way, we wanted to design the pictures as engaging and interesting as possible for children, using various materials to prevent monotony and facilitate the differentiation of displayed objects.

In conclusion, our book can help to include visually impaired children by supporting them to read and experience images through touch.


Since each person has individual preferences, we have also designed an audiobook in addition to the haptic children's book to read and touch. This allows children to listen instead of having to read themselves, which is advantageous, for example, when children themselves still have difficulties with reading. The idea to create an audiobook in addition to the haptic children's book was the result of our interview with the teachers at the school for sight-impaired children in order to address more children. Since Braille takes up a lot of space, we had to keep the story a little shorter for the printed book, whereas we were able to extend the audiobook. We have structured the story in a way that places less emphasis on visual or imaginative elements and instead focuses more on the sense of hearing. The story can be accessed via a QR code, which is also stored in the haptic children's book. With these different versions of the book, we aim to make it accessible to as many children as possible.

English version:

German version:

Retirement Home - Building Bridges between Generations

An important focus of our educational efforts and public relation was to target not only young people but also include the elderly. Our choice was driven by several factors.

Firstly, we recognized the value of engaging with the elderly as they possess a wealth of experiences. We believed that their perspectives and interests could greatly enrich our outreach efforts. However, we also encountered some barriers when considering this group. These barriers included potential knowledge gaps in modern biology and synthetic biology, as well as potential communication challenges due to differences in generational experiences.

The picture shows a table, with the inhabitants of the retirement home sitting around. On the table are candles, which have been crafted from bee wax, and products produced with the help of microorganisms, which we have discussed with the seniors.

To address these barriers and create new opportunities, we have carefully planned our approach. Our goal was to navigate the subject of biology, providing information without leaving too many gaps in knowledge.

We began by introducing ourselves to the residents to establish a comfortable environment for a discussion. We then explained how biology relates to everyday life by giving them examples from the industrial use of microorganisms like yogurt, beer, and citric acid production. Our aim was to make these complex topics easy to understand and show their relevance to the residents' daily lives. As we delved into synthetic biology and iGEM, we ensured simplicity and encouraged questions and discussions. It was not long before some residents shared their own biology-related experiences, having worked in the field or having family members in it. We also introduced our project 'BeeVAX,' explaining our approach to safeguard the Western honey bee from the Varroa mite.

In our efforts to promote inclusivity, we tried to address the needs of the elderly residents. We simplified the subject and primarily focused our presentations on the conservation of insects and the Western honey bee. By providing the elderly people with the materials to make candles from beeswax themselves in the later part of the visit, we encouraged them to act and derive enjoyment from an active skill. Throughout the entire visit, the emphasis was on the exchange between us as students and the elderly residents. One aspect we are particularly proud of is that the elderly people had a great time candle-making, and many of them really opened up to us as a result.

In our efforts to promote inclusivity, we tried to address the needs of the elderly residents. We simplified the subject and primarily focused our presentations on the conservation of insects and the Western honey bee. By providing the elderly people with the materials to make candles from beeswax themselves in the later part of the visit, we encouraged them to act and derive enjoyment from an active skill. Throughout the entire visit, the emphasis was on the exchange between us as students and the elderly residents. One aspect we are particularly proud of is that the elderly people had a great time candle-making, and many of them really opened up to us as a result.


To share the collected information about the inclusion of blind and visually impaired people, which we have gathered from both our research and the extensive human practices with experts, we have designed the pamphlets “First Steps to Inclusion” and “Inclusive Wiki Design”. These pamphlets aim to list recommendations about inclusion in lab work and biology, as well as websites in general. With this, we hope to provide advice to future iGEM teams and improve the basics of inclusivity in STEM.

Pamphlet First Steps to Inclusion

Pamphlet Inclusive Wiki Design


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