Atlasskolan, 7-19 May
Synthetic biology is, relatively speaking, a new field of science and so the general knowledge is low. In order to make an impact we wanted to inspire and inform youth, and so we travelled to Linköping where we visited Atlasskolan and met with a total of 100 students ages 6 to 12! We know that talking is not the best way to build excitement, and synthetic biology is hands-on, so we prepared two exercises; Learning about microscopes and drawing bacteria.
We asked the classes "what do you know about bacteria?", and followed up with a short lesson which led to great discussions about the central dogma, replication and epigenetics. These kids are not to be taken lightly…
Then followed our two exercices, observing bacteria through microscope and then drawing artistic and conceptual versions on top of a provided template. Most of the children drew bacteria that killed people (yikes!), but some made friendly bacteria. Bacteria has got a really bad rap!
Creating a fun and engaging introduction to Synthetic Biology is a great challenge, and something we would like to continue developing. We had a great experience at Atlasskolan and experienced a high sense of engagement and curiousity, one of the children even asked it was possible to join!