Start A High School Team

Are you interested in starting an iGEM team?

There is no "right way" to form a team, but we do have some suggestions on how to get started. The first thing to realize is that the iGEM community lives on the internet. You can learn a lot by spending some time looking through the iGEM wikis from previous years (see below), reading the information on this year's wiki, and looking through the documentation on the Registry. Below you will find a collection of resources that should help you get started. If you have any questions, you can always contact iGEM Headquarters for more information!

About iGEM

Read about iGEM:

iGEM Requirements

There are a few requirements that you must follow to participate in iGEM High School. Be sure to read through them and ask questions if something isn't clear!

Find fellow team members

You can't have a team without students and instructors, and iGEM High School teams must each have at least one instructor.

Find students by:

  • Advertising in the school bulletin or paper
  • Announcing in your school's science clubs, or science classes
  • We recommend finding 4 - 8 students with different interests, such as: biology, and computer science

Find instructors by:

  • Asking your course instructors
  • Asking an instructor at a nearby college/university
  • If there is a collegiate iGEM team near you, see if some of the team members would be available as advisors

You may want to contact other high schools in your area to see if they have already started an iGEM team. They may be able to give you some guidance or, if you can't start a team at your school, see if you can join an already existing team. Teams can be comprised of students from different schools so you can always join forces to create a team!

Get funding

Your team will need money for the team registration, project-related supplies, and to attend the Jamboree. Get help from:

  • Local companies as sponsors
  • Biotech companies
  • School district/principal
  • Community/regional grants
  • Private donations
Most teams have a page on their team wiki where they thank their sponsors. You can look at these lists of sponsors to get an idea of organizations to contact.

Find lab space

If your team will be working on a wetlab project, you will also need lab space to work in. You may want to:

  • Ask your instructor and school principal if you can work in the school laboratory
  • Ask about using space at a nearby college/university
  • Ask a nearby biotech company if they have extra space


Thinking of a project can be difficult since the possibilities are limitless! You can start by thinking of problems you would like to solve. What are some of the issues you care about? What type of device could assist or solve this issue? You can also brainstorm by looking at what previous teams have worked on! The 2013 HS wikis, 2012 HS wikis, and 2011 HS wikis. In addition to high school team projects, you can also check out a database of the collegiate projects.

After you brainstorm some project ideas, do some research on potential parts you may need to construct your device:

Work hard

Get ready to work hard. Often both students and instructors on new teams find that participating in iGEM is more work than they expected but also a lot more fun and rewarding than they imagined. Get ready to spend a lot of time on your project. The best way to get a sense of how much work goes into iGEM projects is to take a look at high school wikis from previous years: 2013 HS, 2012 HS, 2011 HS.

Register your team

Registration for iGEM 2014 HS is now open! Read the Registration Handbook for information on the steps needed to register your team.