We seek to raise public awareness of chemical research as a key factor in the progress of our society. ICIQ is also committed to engage and encourage youngsters to pursue a career in chemistry research. To this end we carry out several outreach activities to audiences of all ages as a way to get chemistry closer to society. In 2017 we implemented three new activities: the ICIQ Virtual Laboratory, the “Science of Chocolate” programme and the first workshop within the “Banc d’Espanya” project.
ICIQ Virtual Laboratory
An online platform that gives open access to educational materials to better understand chemistry. It displays experiments and information specially designed for the educational community. It also showcases the ICIQ researchers and the institute’s main research fields (http://labvirtual.iciq.es/es/).
Science of chocolate
Educational project aimed at engaging primary school students to pursue a scientific career. It consists of nine theoretical-experimental seminars that show the research and knowledge behind chocolate. The project wants to focus particularly in raising girls’ interest in science. Seminars are delivered by female researchers who are currently carrying out leading research in the URV and ICIQ. Both the research they carry out and their life experience are important to become referents for the children involved in this project. La Ciència de la Xocolata was carried out in Pau Delclòs School (Tarragona) and in Tarragona’s Public Library. (https://bit.ly/2vtfVQl).
The “Banc d’Espanya” project
On September 18th and 19th ICIQ presented “Chemistry in Colour,” a series of three experiments that allowed children to paint on milk, change the colour of a solution using “xupa-xups” lollipops, and learn about chromatography with a marker. This was the first of a series of workshops within the “Banc d’Espanya” project aimed at converting the emblematic building on La Rambla into a center for the dissemination of knowledge. It is a project of Tarragona’s Council in collaboration with the city’s research centers ICIQ; ICAC (Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica); and IPHES (Institut Català de Paleoecologia i Evolució Social).
“Química en Família”
14th, 15th and 16th of November (ICIQ Auditorium)
“Química en Familia” is a chemistry workshop that has established itself as one of the most popular activities in the Science Week in Tarragona. This year, more than 150 children attended the event divided in two days. They came to ICIQ to become little scientists and they had the chance to perform different and simple experiments, by using every-day materials.
The ICIQ’s summer camp was designed to make visible the chemistry that surrounds us. Students had the chance to carry out experiments in our learning laboratory, doing group work and learning how to present their work and results obtained in public . We offered two courses: Fem química, introduction to chemistry from experiments that help to understand our daily life from the perspective of chemistry, and M’agrada la recerca, where students learn different laboratory techniques and see the potential of chemistry to improve the world. Fem Química is directed to 5th and 6th grade of primary school students and M’agrada la Recerca is for 1st and 2nd grade of ESO students (https://bit.ly/2HEUUHe).
Science at School
Ciència a les escoles
Two ICIQ researchers delivered talks in Tarragona area schools on November 16th. Ciència a les Escoles is organized by FCRI and Departament d’Ensenyament. Cristina Rodríguez gave the talked entitled “Qué pasa en tu celebro si tomas drogas?” (What happens to your brain if you take drugs?” at INS Blanca d’Anjou (El Vendrell) and Ignacio Funes answered the question ¿Se puede ser químico sin bata de laboratorio? (A chemist and not wearing a lab coat?) at INS Joan Puig I Ferrater (La Selva del Camp).
My first experiment
We visited two primary schools to show chemistry to the little ones. Classrooms were turned into laboratory benches to perform experiments. Boys and girls from 6 different courses (150 students) did their first chemical experiment with us.
Crazy about Chemistry
In 2017 we carried out the fourth edition of our Crazy about Chemistry year-long course for high-school students. This training activity is funded by the Crazy about Science programme of Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation. It is directed at 22 students in their first year of high school, with a special interest and talent on chemistry and research, who want to expand their scientific knowledge through hands-on experiments in an excellent research centre. Moreover, on July 7th we organized the first alumni meeting of “Crazy about Chemistry.” (https://bit.ly/2qNjawy)
From the Lab to the Classroom
ICIQ provides secondary school teachers in Catalonia with the opportunity to participate in specialized courses or workshops. We want to bring teachers into a research lab for training workshops easily transferable to the classroom. Our workshops are designed to provide teachers with educational material and assistance to bridge the gap between research and schools.
On July 5th, we conducted a course on catalysis in the frame of the “Ciència i Aula” programme of Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI). We also made available to the teachers the following workshops: “How to separate a food additive from a sedative,“ ”Light as a source of energy” and “The synthesis of the aspirin.” Moreover, 150 teachers registered to ICIQ Virtual Lab to access our educational materials.
ICIQ Teaching and Learning Laboratory
Every Thursday we welcomed high school students to participate in one of our experimentation workshops. High schools from Tarragona had the opportunity to pick one of our three specialized workshops and challenge their students to experience chemical research first hand. In 2017 we carried out 14 workshops (250 students).
• First-aid kit chemistry
• Food chemistry
• Clean chemistry
The Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC, July 11th to 21st) aimed to connect the most passionate science students with the best researchers. ICIQ participated with the research project entitled “Artificial photosynthesis,” a workshop where participants learnt how to mimic the natural photosynthesis process in the lab to discover different ways to use and store solar energy. http://biysc.org/
Science fairs are a good platform to reach all kind of audiences, especially kids and youths. In 2017 ICIQ participated in the following science fairs:
YoMo (Barcelona, February 22nd-March 2nd): Youth Mobile is a science fair within the Mobile World Congress. We participated in this fair with a series of chemical experiments. (https://www.mwcyomo.com/en/)
Festa de la Ciència i la Tecnologia de Barcelona (Barcelona, May 28th): Workshop on catalytic reactions (“Catàlisi Exprés”) and “Rompamos el agua” (Let’s split water) a talk delivered by Ignacio Funes and Pablo Garrido, ICIQ PhD students. (lameva.barcelona.cat/barcelonaciencia/ca).
Espai Ciència Saló de l’Ensenyament (Barcelona, March 22nd): Home experiments and “find the element” on periodic table in the CERCA ( Research Centres of Catalonia) booth.
OTHER ACTIVITIES TO SUPORT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Research projects: ICIQ opens its doors to students and secondary education centres that wish to do the experimental part of the research project (treball de recerca) in our centre. In 2017 we oversaw 13 research projects.