In October every year, 6,000 of the world’s brightest students gather at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, USA, to compete in the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. This five-day event is the grand-finale of nearly a year’s hard work, and teams will showcase their innovative projects on stage, under the hot lights in front of their peers and the public.
iGEM is a student competition in synthetic biology, where students compete to build a synthetic biological system that can serve humanity in a useful way. By participating in the iGEM competition, students experience all aspects of science. Not only do they conceive and execute a novel scientific project, they also actively implement non-scientific skills such as leadership, fundraising, management, public outreach and communication.
“The iGEM experience is a unique way to contribute to fostering talent,” describes Bas Dutilh, one of Utrecht’s five supervisors, “These are the very best and brightest students of our university and as supervisors, it’s a real privilege to mentor this enthusiastic team.” The team has become very close; they’ve spent a lot of time together, both directly on the project and during team building activities, and really enjoy each other’s company. “It’s inspiring to watch them grow an idea and drive it forward,” says Bas, “And, it’s just good fun.” Read more.