Blog #21 - iGEM Meetup Last Weekend - a great success!

by Nina 09:27, 16 September 2014 (CDT)

Last weekend, six iGEM teams from all over Germany – namely Braunschweig, Darmstadt, Bielefeld, Tübingen, Freiburg and Munich – met with our team in Aachen.

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Welcome teams!
All teams were welcomed by our three beautiful receptionists.

The weekend started with a welcome ceremony for all iGEM teams in the Couven hall on our RWTH campus. This a game of “Synthetic Biology Jeopardy”, developed and programmed by our team member Michael. The game was divided into three rounds: two preliminary rounds and one final. In the first round, Munich alias “Bier”, Tübingen alias “Most” and Bielefeld alias “Bielefeld” challenged each other in the categories Abbreviations, Amino Acids, Bad Science Movies, Part Categories and Sponsor Logos. With 2400 and 800 points teams Most and team Bier, respectively, advanced to the final round. Though the team Bielefeld came in last, they got another chance to proceed to the final round by substituting for Freiburg’s team which didn’t make it on time due to traffic problems.

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First round
Teams battled each other in the five categories Abbreviations, Amino Acids, Bad Science Movies, Part Categories and Sponsor Logos.

Team Darmstadt alias “Darmstadt” lead the second round by finding most questions to the answers in the categories Deadlines, DNA, Molecular Masses, Picture Puzzles and Sounds of Science. However, in the second last question, they stumbled across the last “double jeopardy”, set all their points – and lost, enabling team Braunschweig alias “Carola” and team Bielefeld to proceed to the final round. After coming up with questions to the answer belonging to the categories BioBricks, Chemical Structures, Inheritance, Plots and Propaganda, team Most came out as the winner, while Bier, Bielefeld and Carola came in second, third and forth, respectively.

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Picture Puzzles
What could these three pictures stand for?
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Double Jeopardy
The double jeopardy that doomed Darmstadt's team.

After a break, all teams came together again at 7pm to welcome guests to the public part of the event. In 15-minute presentations, the teams from Bielefeld, Darmstand, Braunschweig, Tübingen, Munich and Aachen presented their project ideas to the public audience and answered some questions in the subsequent discussion round. Then the teams walked over to the residence village where we finished the evening with some pizza and drinks.

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Take a break!
After the jeopardy meetup participants could enjoy a hearty snack before preparing for the public presentations.
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Public presentations
Anna introduces iGEM team Braunschweig at the public presentations.

Although the night was quite short for some people, almost all teams made it to the Couven hall at 10am on Sunday. We started the day with a presentation about SynBio research by Alexander Grünberg from the Jülich Research Centre, followed by Brian Claudill from IDT Biologica who introduced the concept of the company’s GBlocks® to the audience.

Subsequently, the teams from Munich, Freiburg, Braunschweig, Bielefeld and Aachen gave more detailed presentations than the day before about their this year’s iGEM projects. Each presentation was vividly discussed and some valuable improvement suggestions were brainstormed.

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Members of iGEM team Munich present their project to the other teams.

Last but not least, the three winning teams of Saturday’s jeopardy game were rewarded with prizes, and we took this beautiful group photo:

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Group Picture
A final group picture taken by Carsten Ludwig from team Braunschweig.

The iGEM team Aachen hopes that everybody had a great time at our meetup, and that you could collect some valuable feedback about your projects! See you in Boston!