geekStarter News

Meet geekStarter’s 2016-2017 high-school and middle-school teams…
Synthetic Biology Teams

The school has two bio-design teams, one returning and one new. The returning team will carry out experiments with the goal of prototyping the project they started last year. Their goal is to build an environmentally friendly device for removing pesticides from water. The new team will design and develop a new project using design thinking methodology available through the new Berkeley Program. This year, the school introduced a peer-mentorship component where the more experienced, returning team is mentoring the new team.

In their 2nd geekStarter season, the team will grow and solidify their skills in synthetic biology and iGEM, and will select and design an original project with the assistance of design thinking methods available through the new Berkeley Program. Having researched four different project ideas, the team is keen to decide on which project they will pursue, develop that project and start the experimental work. Their plan is to take their project to the iGEM Giant Jamboree in 2018.

After participating in the iGEM competition for three consecutive years, the school decided to take a more systematic approach. They are spending this season designing and developing a new project using design thinking principles and methods available through the new Berkeley Program. This will also provide the many new team members with enough time to get caught up on their knowledge of synthetic biology and iGEM. The team’s goal is to build a high-quality project and present it at the 2018 iGEM Giant Jamboree.

The Lethbridge High-School team is in the process of recruiting new team members, with the goal of participating in the iGEM Giant Jamboree in November 2017. While pondering ways to continue their 2016 iGEM project, a rapid blood coagulation system to stop bleeding when medical assistance is not readily available, the new team will get finalized and start the research for their 2017 iGEM project.
Robotics Teams

Student members of the newly formed Innovations Club at the school are working on developing their skills in hardware and software technologies such as Arduinos, Makey Makeys and littleBits. While their knowledge expands, the students are exploring project ideas and will be selecting and developing their original student-driven project during the second half of the season.

In their 2nd year of participating in the First Robotics competition, the team will build on the experience they gained last year, as attested by their Rookie All Star Award at the regional contest, with the goal of establishing itself as one of the preeminent FIRST Robotics teams in Western Canada. The team will give presentations and workshops that will inspire schools and the wider community to learn and engage with STEM and robotics.

The school has two returning First Robotics teams, one of which is an all-girls team, both registered to participate in the 2017 Western Canada FIRST Robotics Competition. They plan to grow their connections with other robotics teams and take part in training workshops to develop relevant skills, such as design and fabrication of robots, and programming. They will also engage in community outreach and teach robotics to younger students.
Meet the 2016-2017 geekStarter mentors for synthetic biology…
Born several years ago as an extension of Alberta’s iGEM community, the geekStarter 2016-2017 mentor group for synthetic biology is fifteen members strong, with eight team mentors – two per team – and seven specialist/on-call mentors.