Last month, a few students from the junior class IB Biology class had the opportunity to participate in a symposium about Biotechnology and Bio-entrepreneurship for the Advancement of Bio-economy presented at the Gorgas Memorial Institute and organized by iGEM Latin America Ambassador and ALLBIOTECH organization.
iGEM is an initiative that started by a group of scientists in 2003 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is the World's largest Synthetic Biology Competition, now hosting over 320 teams from around the world. There hasn't been a team representing Panama since 2010.
This project offers a unique and exciting opportunity for students to form cross-disciplinary teams and transform their ideas, from theory and books to real-world applications to solve real-world problems together with real-world scientists.
iGEM is full of learning opportunities, the project involves training students in various skills in preparation for the competition. Students will learn about project planning, teamwork/collaboration, laboratory work, laboratory safety, project design, communication and media managing, networking and financing, and presentation skills. Moreover, it gives you a unique platform to learn various technical skills such as molecular biology, computational biology, synthetic biology, web designing, simulations, data analysis and more.
At this point, we are recruiting interested students (9th - 11th grade) to start the first ISP team with the aim to be able to participate in the competition during the next academic year, 2019-2020. The goal is to have the team join scientists from INDICASAT and perhaps other schools in Panama to participate.
Featured in the picture (INDICASAT (Dr. Carmenza Spadafora), ISP, KSI and previous iGem participants from 2010 (biologist).