Each year since 2005, a group of students from the University of Waterloo has been embracing the challenging, but rewarding world of synthetic biology, problem solving and researching for the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition. This competition brings together teams from countries around the world to showcase projects, and learn from each other at an annual conference.
A woman’s scream pierces through the rolling hum of cheers from the sidelines, and Brent Plumley, BSc ‘08 is all nervous smiles. Bound tightly with a canvas cocoon to a zip line, 350 meters long and 70 meters above a pit of bright blue water of an abandoned copper mine, she clutches a yellow ball. Her scream culminates into a loud whoop of victory as her ball plops just inside the boundaries of a red target below, ensuring her team’s success.
Leaving family, friends and Wi-Fi might not be most people’s idea of a dream experience. However, for biology Professor Kirsten Müller, these things are necessary for her upcoming once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica. In this trip, she will travel alongside 99 other women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) fields as the fourth cohort of Homeward Bound.
This past Saturday, the University of Waterloo science buildings were filled with laughter, smiles, and exclamations of discovery, as families from the Kitchener-Waterloo community gathered for a day of curiosity-driven exploration and experimentation. The annual Science Open House and Gem and Mineral Show drew large crowds to UWaterloo.