Team:HokkaidoU Japan/Outreach/Univ festival


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Univ. Festival


We held a workshop in Hokkaido University Festival. In this event, we conducted an educational workshops with some posters on the following topics.

  • "What is DNA?" and "DNA is actually familiar to us."
  • “What is iGEM?” and “What is our activity?”

As an educational program, we conducted an experiment for participants: “Detection of DNA extraction from banana” and poster sessions: “What is DNA?” , ”What is synthetic biology? ” and “What is iGEM?”

In the experiment, we used only daily materials because we wanted partipants to get more familiar to DNA.

How to Exmeriment

  1. Crush one third of banana with spoon; to break its cell wall
  2. Mix well 10% saltine water 30 mL and detergent 2.5 mL; Saltine water makes nucleic acid and salt. Detergent breaks cell membrane.
  3. Pour 1 and 2 into a beaker through coffee filter and filtrate them.
  4. After 5 minutes or so, pour 100% ethanol 40 mL into the beaker slowly.
  5. Then you’ll see some white lump. That’s exactly the DNA!!

As this experiment was so easy, participants of all ages from children to the elderly enjoyed it and felt DNA was familiar to them.

Poster Session

In poster session, we made a presentation about four contents including "DNA", "gene recombination", "iGEM", and the project of last year.

We drew up posters with pictures and illustrations to let people understand easily. Also we had some conversation with them to know whether they could understand our explanation or not. We had a good opportunity to communicate with Hokkaido citizen having various backgrounds and generations.

Extracted DNA
iGEM booth in univ. festival



We took questionnaires from participants of our workshop (133 people). The results are shown below.

We asked them to quantify their impression about gene recombination from 0 (bad) to 10 (good), attached with reasons. Before and after the experiment, their answers changed.

Participant 1

Age: 40’s / Sex: F

Score before workshop: 1
Because natural corns or soy beans seem better than gene recombinated ones.

Score after workshop: 7
If it is used for medicine and limited in supportive usage, I would accept it.

Participant 2

Age: teenager / Sex: M

Score before workshop: 8
Because there are lots benefits to use gene recombination.

Score after workshop: 8
Because I knew about it already so my impression is not so changed.

Participant 3

Age: 20’s / Sex: M

Score before workshop: 8
Because it’s one of the solutions of food crisis even it has possibility to make harmful foods by gene recombination.

Score after workshop: 8
Because the event was interesting.

Participant 4

Age: teenager / Sex: F

Score before workshop: 5
Because it’s true that the technology is so great but I’m afraid that human beings may change ecosystems.

Score after workshop: 8
Because it has a lot of benefits for human beings, we should take advantage of it after research of its effects.

Participant 5

Age: 50’s / Sex: F

Score before workshop: 1
Because my impression which have a possibility to harm ecosystems.

Score after workshop: 3
It might be good if it is only used for good usages for human beings like preventing environmental problems or making medicines.

Participant 6

Age: teenager / Sex: F

Score before workshop: 1
I don’t know much about it, but I think it might be harmful.

Score after workshop: 1
There’s not so much difference between before joining event and after that.

Participant 7

Age: teenager / Sex: F

Score before workshop: 0
Because it is harmful for human health.

Score after workshop: 8
Because I could know that there’s no effects to human body and it is useful for our lives.

Participant 8

Age: teenager / Sex: F

Score before workshop: 4
Because my impression for genetically modified foods is bad.

Score after workshop: 6
Because I get to know that genetically modified foods are digested in our body.


At last, we show you the comments from the participants.

  • My children (3 and 6 years old) took part in your event. They couldn’t understand what DNA is, but through the experiment using things familiar with our life, they could watch something curious and it was interesting for them. Thank you.
  • You should be careful so that your explanation be suitable for participants’ level. There may be many people who even don’t know the word "DNA".
  • Do your best in iGEM competition!
  • It was interesting because I could watch DNA with my eyes.
  • It was interesting and I could know about DNA a little.
  • The picture of DNA you drew was helpful for my understanding
  • I felt it good that I could experiment using things familiar with our life.
  • The experiment was so interesting. Thank you.
  • I was surprised by that watching DNA is very easy. It was interesting,
  • It was interesting. The explanation helped me.
  • The explanation was so clear.
  • I was taught by your clear explanation. Thank you.
  • I asked you what "DNA sequence" is. Your answer was so easy to understand. Thank you.
  • The things used in the experiment were familiar with our daily life, so it was very handy. The method of experiment was amazingly easy and the experiment itself was interesting.
  • Your careful lecture told me about DNA in detail. Thank you.
  • It was interesting and very educational for me.
  • It was educational for me. I got to know what’s DNA. I want to participate next time, too.
  • I was surprised that we can extract DNA by using groceries. I wanted to know why it is easy to extract banana’s DNA
  • I could know about DNA by looking at it by my eyes. It was so interesting!
  • The event was good experience for me.
  • The explanation about DNA was a little difficult for junior high school students but it was interesting.
  • The experiment was clear because it use banana as a thing familiar with our daily life.