Team:Nantes/Public Engagement

Public Engagement Public Engagement

Escape Game

We want to create an engaging and original activity to reach scientists and nonscientists in our University. We created and built a whole escape game. The players learned about our project, Synthetic Biology and iGEM and used this knowledge to escape. We were able to have 12 games engaging 43 people from the University of Nantes.

  • We included the 3 pillars of our team : science, human practices, finances
  • We included the place of women in science
  • Players had to collect the 3 medals to win the game
  • Players had to resolve enigmas using protocols and science experiments for exemple

Our game lasted 1 hour and was followed by an exchange of 30 minutes with the four scientists surrounding our project.

Art exhibition

We wanted to create an event that would gather different points of view on Synthetic Biology under a universal language : art. We were very proud to organise an art exposition. We had exhibited art pieces coming from 3 professional artists and 6 different iGEM teams from 4 different countries.The event was free and opened from September 25th to October 18th.

« Nuit Blanche des Chercheurs »

This event, organized by the city of Nantes had 11 stands presenting different aspects of innovation in science and welcomed 1200 people. We took part in a national event promoting science to the public. The 2019 edition was titled “Overcoming the limits” and took place in February. For our stand “Overcome the limits of Synthetic Biology”, we designed games in order to engage with kids and adults and make our project and Synthetic Biology understandable to all.

  • We had team members participating in the “science-dating” in which we had to pitch our project in 7 minutes to 2-3 people at a time. Most of them were really surprised by the range of possibilities synthetic biology could offer. At first they were rather doubtful but at the end of the 7 minutes, each of them was really sold on our project and the possibilities of synthetic biology.
  • We made a box representing a firefly that became enlightened when kids added the dna coding for light. This activity really sparkled a light in their eyes, and we proceeded to talk about what they thought about modifying living beings. Surprisingly, they were really concerned about the animals well being and said we should take into consideration the way they felt. We were able to discuss about ethics and how far we could go with this technology.
  • We created a human cardboard with boxes that represented a part of the body. The public had to guess if it held bacteria, or not. Adults were really surprised to learn that our ears, vaginas, eyes and skin was home to milion of bacteria. This activity made them more comfortable with the existence of bacteria. They understood how the symbiose between human and bacteria was vital for us. We believe this game really opened up a discussion about how the public perceive bacteria.
  • We created a stop-motion video to explain synthetic biology. We gave easy but remarkable examples of the use of synthetic biology. The video was playing in the background. This way, the public that did not want to talk to us could still get an explanation of what we do.
  • We imagined a game in which real (mostly iGEM projects) and fake applications of synthetic biology were pictured on the front. They had to guess if it existed. On the back was an explanation of the projects. This was a very engaging game for everyone (scientists, adults, kids etc…). This game helped us start discussions the most. Everyone was surprised by the answers and usually had a lot to say


We went on “Radio Prun’” on April 16th during the “Curiocité” podcast. We talked about the iGEM competition, synthetic biology and our project. It was broadcasted live on internet and on FM receivers. After our intervention, we received many messages on our facebook page and through our email, to show support or to ask us questions about our project. The emission was broadcasted to around 13700 listeners.

Public Speeches

International Scientific Congress : We held a conference on our project during the “Synthetic Biology” session of “Les Journées Scientifiques de l’Université de Nantes” on June 21st. It was followed by questions from scientists and a poster session. This event gave us the opportunity to exchange with experts from different fields of research.

University congress : To reach our close community of science students, we took part in the “Congrès Licence Sciences de la Vie” at the University of Nantes on April 25th. This was an opportunity to talk alongside 6 experts in different scientific fields working in public laboratories and private corporations. We talked in front of 250 students, teachers and people outside of the University, as the congress was opened to the public. TThe students showed a lot of interest in iGEM and participating in the competition in the following years.

Laboratory Meeting Presentation : We presented our project to 30 scientists working in the UFIP laboratory.

High Schools : We presented our project in two different highschool. This challenged us to present Synthetic Biology in a way that it would be understood by everyone. We also exchanged with these students and their teachers not only on the scientific aspect of our project but also the ethical and moral aspect as well.

Social Media

We were very present on social media, and really exploited this platform to reach as many people and present Science and Synthetic Biology in a fun and accessible way by making comics.

Giant Jamboree