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Education & Public Engagement

Our team has participated in various educational events such as the "Fête de la science" in Paris and the game "Jouer à débattre" created by the association "L'Arbre des connaissances" and thus we interacted with young people.

We were able to promote our project and the iGEM competition in the local press and during scientific congresses such as the French iGEM MeetUp in Toulouse and the BioSynSys Symposium.

Finally, we continued the development of our game BioPuzzle, explaining the basics of synthetic biology in a progressive and educational way. We have designed a new layout and a level creation tool allowing everyone to add their own plasmid construction. Each user will also be able to put ahead the best level and contribute to the improvement of the game for the next iGEM editions.

Synbio BioPuzzle video game - Preview

"Jouer à débattre" / "Play to debate"

In an educational dynamic, we participated in a project of the association "L'Arbre des connaissances". Clara Fruchon, coordinator of the "Jouer à débattre" project, approached us via the Genopole with the aim of raising awareness of pupils on issues of science in society. Delphine Trançois, a life and science teacher at Pierre Sellier Secondary School in La Cappelle (F-02260), organized our meeting with three classes of 9th grade pupils.

During this presentation we introduced ourselves as students and we talked about our curriculum. We gave them a proper definition of synthetic biology using principles they already knew like biology/chemistry/informatics.

We presented what the iGEM is and the perspectives offered by this competition, the medals and awards the previous Evry_Paris-Saclay teams obtained and we taught them that iGEM is a multidisciplinary competition tackling a lot of challenges all around the world.

School pupils were more particularly impressed when they learned that both NASA and FBI were interested in the development of synthetic biology.

This was followed by a questions and answers session where each teenager was able to ask us about the possibilities in synthetic biology. Among the questions we can retain "Can we recreate new species that do not exist in nature with synthetic biology?", "We had seen in an article that we produce human insulin by cows and obtained it from their milk. Does synthetic biology allow other means of production?", "How can synthetic biology help in medicine?", "We have seen that GMOs have advantages, but that they can also be dangerous for nature and for our health. Does synthetic biology present less risk and more advantages ?"

It was extremely enriching to have young people’s vision on this subject. We greatly enjoyed this meeting, so we plan to expand our interventions next year with even more aspiring scientists!

BioSynSys Symposium

The French BioSynSys Symposium on Synthetic and Systems Biology is a gathering of researchers and doctoral students coming mainly from Europe presenting by turns their latest research subjects, how they worked on it and which results they obtained and why.

This year the symposium treated the following main subjects:
It also included two satellite workshops: the iGEM France presentations and the Synthetic Biology of Lactic Acid Bacteria.

All the French iGEM teams were invited to present their project in front of dozens of researchers.

It was a great training for the preparation of the jamboree for our team because the questions that we were asked were more technical compared to the questions that iGEM teams asked us at the Toulouse’s meeting (see below).

Some senior scientists seemed particularly interested in the way we were looking for a better early detection of cancer and came to see us afterwards.

We particularly enjoyed those 3 days of conference and we hope that in the future we will be invited again to this Symposium!

Fête de la Science / the Science Festival

Fête de la Science (the Science Festival) is a French nation-wide event that aims to share and popularize scientific knowledge. Nearly all French research institutions, universities and other scientific organizations participate and the general public comes naturally to discuss directly with the scientists.

Within the framework of this event, we were hosted in Paris at “La Cité des sciences et de l'industrie” (The House of Science and Industry) during both the 8th and the 9th of October 2022. And we were not alone ! As detailed in the Collaboration page on this wiki, we co-organized the iGEM booth together with the 4 other Parisian iGEM teams (GO_Paris-Saclay, Ionis_Paris, Paris_Bettencourt and Sorbonne_U_Paris) under the close guidance of Mrs. Valérie Lerouyer (BioLab chef manager at “Cité des sciences et de l'industrie”).

During this event, we discussed with the young and the old, and performed a few experiments with them.

We presented a poster talking about natural antibioresistance of certain microorganisms and the risk they might become to humans and their environment. We taught both adults and children that certain microorganisms were able to produce and secrete antibiotics in order to kill the other bacteria in the environment they were living in order to keep all the energetic resources for themselves and to grow faster and more easily.

We talked about how antibiotics were involved in bacterial destruction, either by targeting the cell wall, or important processes inside the cell like protein synthesis.

We taught them that viruses were not affected by antibiotics.

We showed them too how those antibiotics molecules were secreted into the media and why one should not take randomly a given antibiotic. Indeed, the more a bacterial species is confronted with an antibiotic, the more chances they have for one of them to develop resistance to this given antibiotic (natural selection principle).

We finished generally this poster presentation by advices on the way they could avoid microbial infection (we reminded them how important it is to wash their hands regularly each day and more particularly before each meal) and how they could avoid the propagation of a resistant bacteria to a given antibiotic (bring back to the pharmacists your medication boxes and do not let them go elsewhere in the nature).

We also proposed a little memory game, where children were looking for the different pairs (a pair was composed of a given bacteria and the antibiotic it was able to secrete and against what kind of symptoms/disease it was used against).

Experimentally, we proposed microscope activities related to the observation of red onions epidermal cells. We met experienced visitors, but also novices that looked into a microscope for the first time and to whom we gave advice on how to move around through the whole coverslip, how to use the different lens amplifications and how to accommodate if necessary.

We taught people why those cells were red (due to a pigment), why those cells were rectangular and bounded together (pavementous structure, the epiderm is the most external surface of the onion, those cells are bounded together to protect the onion of external physical damages) and by extension that they are different structure of cells assembled together depending on their own locations in the onion.

We also organized a pipetting activity where we received up to 10 children at the same time that shared a 96 well plate and three 50 mL tubes, filled with respectively yellow, blue and red natural colorants. Children had at their disposal 3 small 5 mL tubes to receive each of the three colors previously cited. They had additional tubes to allow them to make color mixes outside of their plate. Moreover they had at their disposal a small and a medium pipette to allow them to make forms (like a heart for example) in their plate. We made this activity to initiate children to the pipetting work and maybe transmit them a wet lab passion.

These 2 days were very enriching, we learnt a lot of things, like how to manage a booth full of children that might be troublemakers, how to deal with things that were not supposed to happen, how to split our forces into different activities to get the utmost people as possible.

It was also a challenge to speak with no scientists and find words to explain to others what to us is obvious.


The iGEM Evry_Paris-Saclay 2021 team developed the BioPuzzle application. Following the judge’s n°4 feedback:

“Your "Biopuzzle" game is a nice idea and something that would be nice to see more widely used since it can make the ideas of building biological parts more intuitive. I hope you plan to expand on that in future years rather than trying new apps each year, since it's a great start to expand”

we expanded it, and integrated new features with the precious advice and support offered to us by the Scissors In The Plug, a group of 24 year old creators, friends of one of our team members.

BioPuzzle has now a new design and is played through a website and not only on a smartphone as for the previous version of the game. It includes 10 tutorial levels explaining the basics of synthetic biology progressively and pedagogically in a basic design.



Among the new features, we integrated a new collaboration tool. Every iGEM team, student, researcher, novice can now create their own genetic constructs.

Each creation will be integrated into a database and presented to users as a game level in its own right. One also has the possibility to rate the level played to support the team and its construction and to be able to find the levels with the greatest number of votes through a filter system which also allows you to sort the levels by team.

The iGEM Evry_Paris-Saclay 2023 team is already planning to take this forward. For this reason, we added a "contact" button for the users to be able to submit ideas, recommendations or problems, so that we can, with you, continue to develop a powerful tool which will allow all to understand the synthetic biology. Indeed, we hope that this game with educational virtues will one day be a teaching support at school and all this thanks to your participation and precious advice!

We also incorporated next setting parameters, to have a relaxed background music with adjustable volume on the same principle for SFX sounds.

We incorporated in “included levels” the pre-made previous levels from the former mobile application to give simple examples for young people, to make them more in touch with synthetic biology than before.

On the lower picture, you can observe the “community level” tab, in an orange square you have the possibility to look at the main information of this level. So, all players will have access to the name of the level, its creator, the goal of this level and the date it was created.

Moreover as you can see on the top of the screen you can filter the team you want to look at and/or to enter keywords to more easily find your level of interest and adapt your own project.

But how do we create a level on our own ? Let’s find out together!

First you need to get back to the main menu, click on the “level creator” tab and then go into “create level”, then into “set bricks”.

You can add as much biobrick as you want, but for each biobrick you create you have to give it a name (or an error message will appear when you will try to register your level construction).

Moreover you have to enter both initial conditions (only “elements” could be added to this part) and victory conditions that are the goal that you want to reach when creating this particular level.

In this example the element "5" is an activator of the gene "3" that is repressed by the element "3". Thus, our initial conditions are filled with both elements "5" and "3" and we finally want to express the gene "3". To proceed, we just have to name our brick (above the activator) and click on the "save" button to store this level construction. Afterwards, one has to add information about the name of the future level, the name of the creator and a description of the level construction, what it is aimed for, for example.

After uploading the level in the game server, if it is registered, you will get the following command appear on your screen. If it the case, congratulation!, you created your first level construction on our biobrick game, you can then go back to the main menu to test your own level and see if it is working as expected.

To experiment with the gameplay, click on the “play community levels” command and then select the level you have created.

In the picture below, you can observe the gameplay interface.

On the top of this tab, you have the name and the goal of your level knowing the initial conditions you have put in the “set bricks” part during the design of your level. When you let the cursor of your mouse you get more information about it. Your modifications are taken into account in the game when you slide with your cursor each element you want to incorporate to get through the level in the whole rectangle.

When you will play the game you will see that when you incorporate the part into the rectangle, it is moving around, it confirms that your choice was taken into account. Moreover, when a gene is inactive but not repressed it is covered with a gray surface.

When you add a repressor of a gene, it starts blinking with a brown color responding to the repressor that is broadcasting a sort of animated signal on the screen.

When you add an activator of a gene, it starts blinking with a blue color responding to the activator that is broadcasting a sort of animated signal on the screen.

When you think that you meet all the criteria to complete the level, click on the “validate” command. If you succeed at this level, the gene that you want to express will shine, if it is not happening, there might be a problem with both the genes/regulators you have put on your construction. We advise you to try the level again using the “reset” command.

Well-played ! You can now give a +1 or a -1 if you loved or hated for some reason this level.

We invite you to test more levels to get more familiar with synthetic biology principles !

Press release

To promote our project and the iGEM competition for the general public, in the local press, we received the help of the Communication departments of Genopole and University of Evry Paris-Saclay, that establided a press release describing the iGEM competition in general and a brief overview of our project.