iGEMAdvisor:Mrs. Janet StandevenOverview:
What is iGEM?The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. In 2011, iGEM introduced a High School Division that focuses on finding ways for high school student teams to enjoy iGEM in ways that fit the schedules, resources, and structures available to high school teams.
- iGEM stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine competition
- Over the course of a year, students design and build simple biological systems made from standard interchangeable DNA parts
- Students will learn lab techniques of biotechnology in addition to developing a working knowledge of modern molecular engineering and scientific research skills.
- Teams put together a website, keep a log of their research and engineer a synthetic set of genes called a “part”. After completing their research and engineering teams travel to the International Jamboree to compete with other teams from around the globe
- The goal is to isolate, identify and donate a set of genes to the “Registry of Standard Biological Parts”. www.partsregistry.org
- Information can be found on the main iGEM website at http://igem.org/Main_Page
- An example of the scope and commitment of the scientific research can be found http://2020.igem.org/Team:Lambert_GA
Due to this year’s outstanding applications and overwhelming demand we are pleased to announce that Lambert’s iGEM program is expanding to encompass both a Competition Team and a Seminar Team. This is an exciting opportunity for more students to benefit from the iGEM experience. Similar to other varsity activities, members earn placement on the Competition or Seminar Teams through an application process. Applications are evaluated on their project proposals, previous and potential contributions, skills in leadership and teamwork, strong academic records, and a demonstrated passion for science and engineering.
The application period has ended for the 2021 teams. Please check back in October - November of 2021 for information regarding the applications for the 2022 teams.
Competition Team Overview
The goal of the Competition Team iGEM team is to provide students with the opportunity to conduct collegiate level synthetic biology research, develop professional communication and writing skills, and present their work internationally. Students work individually and together to learn and apply skills necessary for team success at the International Jamboree Competition, while earning course credit in Scientific Research, Essentials of Biotechnology, or Applications of Biotechnology.
The Competition Team is composed of the students who will develop, create, and present this year’s project. The team format is set up as a biotech company with six main areas of responsibilities: wet-lab, hardware, software, mathematical modeling, science communication, and integrated human practices. Students generally concentrate their efforts in one or two areas, although all students are expected to understand the overview of all components of the project.
Students on the iGEM Competition Team are required to be enrolled in the synchronous F2F course on campus held during 5th and 6th periods everyday year round. Course credit is offered based on the student's grade level and progress through the CTAE biotech pathway: Essentials of Biotechnology, Applications of Biotechnology, or Scientific Research. Students earn grades based on their progress towards the Georgia State Standards of Excellence as they simultaneously complete their project work. These are intensive courses and require a serious time and effort commitment. The topics are scientifically complex and students are required to be self-starters and highly motivated. A background in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Engineering, and/or AP Computer Science are helpful. Synthetic Biology is a multidisciplinary field and students obtain a variety of skills through the experiences. Students on the team are also expected to participate in the summer boot camps, extracurricular activities, fundraising and scheduled extended work days. Dates will be preannounced.
The spring semester comprises the research and experimental development phases of the project, while the fall semester concentrates on scientific communication and preparation for the competition. During the fall semester we have the opportunity to attend the International Jamboree, the culminating event, which is scheduled to be in Paris, France from October 6-11, 2021. The duration of travel time may extend outside the competition window. Students are expected to communicate with their teachers and make up work according to the guidelines set forth in the FCSS Student Handbook.
Seminar Team Overview
The goal of the iGEM Seminar Team is to allow students to gain hands-on experience in synthetic biology and scientific research in a noncompetitive environment promoting critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. Students will have the opportunity to explore techniques and content in a lab setting, while practicing wet lab and research skills and as an extracurricular team activity for the spring semester of 2021. It is an extended learning experience including discussions, lectures, and labs for students who are interested in Lambert’s iGEM program.
The iGEM Seminar Team is an exploratory introduction, encompassing bi-monthly sessions that walk the students through researching an iGEM project proposal, replicating lab procedures from iGEM winning projects, oral presentations, and an intensive lab experience that includes several extended time lab bootcamp sessions. Seminar students will be expected to complete independent responsibilities in addition to the scheduled meetings. The Seminar Team will conclude with a showcase to present their work to an audience of industry professionals, former iGEM alumni, and judges. The time commitment is equivalent to approximately 80 extracurricular hours of training, practice, and individual assignments.
The iGEM Seminar Team allows students to learn new skills and develop their scientific reasoning while in a noncompetitive environment designed to prepare students for competitive iGEM. Membership provides students the opportunity to develop skills necessary for scientific research and for the iGEM competition in particular which are needed by all members of the competition team - this program is a preview of the competition team and acts as a preparatory program. NOTE: Membership in the Seminar Team does not guarantee placement on the subsequent year’s competition team.
Club Officers or Members: Are chosen through an application and interview process. Information about the iGEM applications and information will be available in October- November 2021.