Bioinformaticians@SIB meet people

13 May 2017 and 14 May 2017, Campus Biotech Geneva

Version française

As part of the Open Geneva Hackathons, SIB invites the general public to meet with bioinformaticians to get some insights into how computer programming can be applied to life science problems. Two tracks are offered: one introduces programming to kids and their parents whereas the second one is addressed to experienced programmers and structural biologists.

Track 1: Scratch programming for kids and their parents

(Saturday afternoon, 13 May 2017)



Track 2: 3D/Virtual Reality for Bioinformatics

(Saturday/Sunday 13/14 May 2017)


Track 1: Scratch programming for kids and their parents

Many biological questions can be analysed via computer programs. This event is addressed to children at the age of 7 to 14 years who want to discover and experience how scientists use computers and write computers programs to analyse biological questions. Participants will be introduced to the scratch programming language and will build teams to write small applications for bioinformatics problems. Participation of parents is highly encouraged :-) The event will be mainly in French and partially in English.

© Rainer Stropek

  • Participants need to bring their own portable computers (Windows, Mac or Linux)
    • The following programming language will be used:
    • Note: tablets/phone will not work for scratch since it requires Flash!
  • If possible, download and install Scratch 2 Editor on your computer
  • Max. capacity: 20-25 kids and their parents

13:30 - 14:00 Registration - preparation of machines
14:00 - 14:25 Introduction, biology, bioinformatics
14:25 - 14:45 Scratch tutorial
14:45 - 15:30 First practical experience with Scratch
15:30 - 16:00 Break
16:00 - 17:30 Programming in teams
17:30 - 18:00 Summary and presentation of results

Background, tutorial and exercises

Track 2: 3D/Virtual Reality for Bioinformatics

Virtual Reality is evolving fast, and therefore in this hackathon the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics proposes to brainstorm about and develop 3 Dimensional Virtual Reality applications with bioinformatics interest.
This event is addressed to public with different skill sets (programmers, biologists, designers, animators, storytellers), who are interested in either bioinformatics, 3D or virtual reality.

Every participant may propose a theme about a ludic bioinformatics subject and form teams. In case you lack inspiration, our motivated organisers will suggest some ideas, so don’t worry come and join us :)


  • Participants need to bring their own portable computers (Windows, Mac or Linux)
  • We encourage participants to download / play / study some resources listed below
  • Max. capacity: 20-25 participants
Saturday, 13 May 2017

08:30 - 09:00 Registration and Coffee session.
09:00 - 09:30 Welcome note and briefing of the event.
09:30 - 10:30 People brainstorm ideas to work on and form teams.
10:30 - Engines can start!

Lunch will be served around noon

17:00 Idea/Concept to be presented by the teams to be picked up for Sunday's presentation and poster session.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

16:00 - 17:30 The best team will have the opportunity to present their concept/work at the Hackathon show of Campus Biotech

Some useful resources

  • PDB: Protein Data Bank is an archive containing 3D structures of proteins.
  • Unity3D: Unity3D is a cross-platform game engine used to develop video games.
  • Udemy course: A tutorial on Unity3D and Virtual Reality
  • Google VR / Daydream
  • React VR
  • SweetUnityMol: A video game-based computer graphic software
  • Chimera: An extensible molecular modelling system
  • Meshlab: Open source system for processing and editing 3D structures
  • UnityMol: UnityMol is a molecular editor, viewer and prototyping platform coded with Unity3D


The event takes place at:

Campus Biotech Innovation Park
Avenue de Sécheron 15
CH-1202 Geneva

Contact and Questions

For any questions concerning the event, please contact us via the link below:

Organising Committee

This event is organised and presented by following the members of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics:

In collaboration with: