IGEM:IMPERIAL/2006/Instructors Feedbacks/Warming up

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Stuff done and learnt during our first iGEM summer

Introduction to Synthetic Biology

Introduction to Synthetic Biology Hands on in the Wetlab
What we planned ...
  • Intro to Synthetic Biology.
  • Engineering lectures given by engineering student to biologist and vice versa.
  • Journal Club.
  • Tutorials (Wiki, Part Registry, Modelling)
  • Intro about methodology + practicals using a Problem Solving approach
  • Brainstormings sessions
What happened ...
  • The first week was really intense for the students (good thing).
  • Lectures given by students worked quite well. Helped to break the ice. The topics were chosen by the students, they had to decide what would be important to know to the other sub-group.
  • Tutorials worked OK. Maybe more time should have been dedicated to the modelling one. The Wiki one is really important, it is essential to get the student comfortable with this tool as it is going to be use to promote collaboration. We noticed a clear differences in terms of wiki contributions amongst the students.
  • Students enjoyed the Journal Club, good way to get them into Synthetic Biology concepts. They wanted to keep it for the rest of the project but it never happened again.
  • About the methodology, biologists were skeptical. Having some simple practical helped to convey the message.
  • We started having Brainstorming session at the end of the day. BAD !!! Students are too sleepy.
  • Daily debriefs were important, but we had a hard time to get the students to take control and manage by themselves the agenda of the meeting (what was planned, what has been done, what we need to do next ...). At the end it became a formality more than a real moment to exchange and catch-up on the project.
Next time ...
  • Insist on Wiki.
  • Keep the Journal Club in some form during the all project.

Hands on in the Wetlab

Introduction to Synthetic Biology Hands on in the Wetlab
What we planned ...
  • Health and Safety in the lab.
  • Good practices in the lab (use of space and material + lab notebook).
  • Basic protocols (Transformation, miniprep, maxiprep, gel elect, digestion, ligation ...)
  • How to handle (MIT plates)
What happened ...
Next time ...
  • make sure that the lab is kept tidy (bench of the week 'award')
  • give to the students more feelings for lab planning
  • Students should be aware of the expenses and cost of the wetlab (Could have a budget to deal with)

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