The 2015 iGEM Undergrad Winners

The 2015 iGEM Grand Prize for an undergrad team went to the College of William and Mary – one of the oldest universities in the United States. Here is the link to the team’s top-notch wiki page. They worked on noise. But not the familiar kind that we can hear. They were interested in the noise describing the variability in the performance of a machine – the way its […]

The 2015 iGEM High School Winners

This team won the High School Grand Prize at the 2015 iGEM competition.  photo credit: iGEM foundation and Justin Knight The team is from Taipei American School (TAS) in Taiwan. This is the link to their wiki page: What was their project about? What made it a winning project? I was curious and looked for answers […]

Students Aren’t Just Kids! My Push For Project-Based Learning

What do you do these days? I get this question a lot. My answer: I’m trying to bring project-based learning to schools. In case you wonder what exactly project-based learning is, and why I’m invested in it, read on. This imaginary conversation – inspired by real discussions I’ve had – will make some light. What is project-based learning? As the […]

How Do You Define Success?

This is an important question and I feel grateful every time it comes up. It forces me to ponder anew the slippery yet ubiquitous nature of success. I call success slippery because it depends on goals, aspirations and perspectives, and these can shift quite a bit. And I call it ubiquitous because I can’t think of any process or activity which, […]

Should Competition Drive Learning? Why iGEM High-School Should Change

Is competition good for learning? I’ve been asking myself this question ever since my first iGEM High-School Jamboree experience two weeks ago. The Jamboree is the culmination of a renowned competition where students of high-school age from all over the world present original synthetic biology projects that they conducted themselves. The best projects win prizes, the most prestigious being the GreenBrick Trophy. This […]

iGEM – international Genetically Engineered Machines

Do you want to experience genuine scientific research? And the thrill of a prestigious worldwide competition? If you do, check out iGEM – an annual international synthetic biology competition, which has expanded in recent years to include a high-school division. Sounds interesting? Then put together a team of fourteen to eighteen year olds and get ready to… learn synthetic […]