Friday, April 18, 2008

PRBB scientists communicate science to young people from their own lab

How does a laboratory look like? What is done there? How do people work in it? Many young people wonder about these issues, and scientists at PRBB are helping to answer their questions.

The CRG and CEXS-UPF have participated this year in the Escolab project (, an initative in which scientists from Barcelona organize activities directed to students at high school in their own research centres, universities or companies. The IMIM, on the other hand, has continued with its own program, ACCÉS, which functions since 2005 by initiative of a group of researchers, and which has also the aim of spreading the scientific activity amongst high school students.

Yesterday was the last of the Escolab sessions organised by the UPF. High school students (ESO and “batxillerat”) of three different schools visited the PRBB facilities and saw how laboratories work and what research is done there. During the visit the students stopped at the confocal microscopy and genomics services, where the technicians in charge of them, Xavi Sanjuan and Roger Anglada, explained to them in a very clear way how this complicated techniques work. The participants could also observe some biological images. Fernando Giráldez then gave a very enthusiastic talk about developmental biology, with which he awakened the interest of many of the high school students who participated.

For the ESO students, a bit younger, there was another activity: a role game, in which they had to put themselves in the position of researchers who find themselves in front of an epidemic and have to discover its origin and propagation in order to stop in time. The game forced them to work in little groups of experts who have to cooperate to find a solution.

Escolab is driven by the Comissionat de Cultura científica de l’Institut de Cultura de Barcelona, with the collaboration of the Institut Municipal d’Educació de Barcelona.

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