Science Goes to School reaches out to students to create enthusiasm for science
Science Goes to School, a public outreach project organised by the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP), aims to raise interest in science and multiculturalism among secondary school students in Dresden, Germany. The project offers biology workshops in English once a month. International teams of PhD students of DIPP volunteer as instructors on the workshops.
PathChooser fellow Prasath Paramasivam, a regular instructor on the workshops, explained why he volunteers in Science Goes to School, “I personally think that no matter what career the younger generation are going to choose in the future, they must be inspired by science. Every one of them is going to play an important role in the future of science perhaps by making policies as a politician, transforming science to society as an industry person, doing research as a scientist or simply by paying tax. So, they must be inspired by science to understand how important it is to work together and succeed together for the better future of science. That’s why I go to schools from my working bench.”
At the workshops, instructors introduce basic biology topics like DNA, RNA, and model organisms and invite students to hands-on work through simple experiments such as DNA extraction and DNA fingerprinting. During and after every workshop, instructors are available for scientific and non-scientific discussions.
“We got overwhelmingly positive feedback from a lot of students saying how informative it was and that their interest is drawn to science. We also received comments from students stating they could imagine being a scientist in future,” said Prasath, highlighting the excitement and enthusiasm students show when they discuss science.
Ahmed Eladly wins third place at the FameLab Cyprus 2017 finals
FameLab, an annual science communication competition sponsored by the British Council, is open to everyone working or studying in science, engineering and maths. Contestants present a scientific topic in a unique and entertaining way addressing a non-scientific audience in 3 minutes. Since it started in 2005 the competition has taken off, and it’s now held in over 25 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States. At the end of individual competitions, the winners from each country have the opportunity to take part in the international Famelab competition in Cheltenham, UK.
“I have always loved science and I have always believed that everyone should be able to understand it not just the specialists. I felt bad that people are always discouraged when they hear scientific terms. One way to remove this stigma is to be able to communicate science to the general public in a simplistic and engaging way and try to bridge the gap by explaining the direct impact scientific research has on us,” says Ahmed Eladly, PhD student at E.P.O.S IASIS Research & Development Ltd.
FameLab Cyprus final competition took place on May 17, 2017, and was broadcast live on TV. Finalists were offered a two-day intensive training course on science communication and public affairs. Eladly competed at the finals with his talk about the role of mucus in cancer chemoresistance and won the third place.
FameLab Cyprus final competition
“On a personal level it was such an enriching and amazing experience as management and training was carried out by experts who understand the nooks and crannies of science communication,” comments Eladly on his FameLab experience.
Three-R-Products wins KWT`s 4th Business Idea Competition
Three-R-Products team with Marius Hittinger, Christoph Stahlmann and PathChooser fellow Xabier Murgia competed in the 4th Business Idea Competition early in 2017. The competition is organized by the KWT at the Saarland University and aims to create new enterprises.
Under the mentorship of Prof. Claus-Michael Lehr, Three-R-Products aimed to come up with an ex-vivo model for drug screening by the pharmaceutical industry. The team developed the concept of treating slaughterhouse waste for use in safety and efficacy testing of new drugs. They won the 1st place in the competition along with €1000.
Team Three-R-Products (Photo credit: Saarland University)
Researchers` Night 2016 in Cyprus
September 2016, Cyprus
Under the auspices of the European Commission MSCA and the research and innovation initiative, Cyprus has celebrated Researchers’ Night on the last Friday of September, commemorating its 10 year anniversary. This the year event took place at the modern Filoxenia conference center in Nicosia. Researchers’ night is a fun, interactive and informative event catering to all members of the community with the aim of inspiring and educating children of all years of age about science and engineering. The event allowed all members of the society to engage with scientists and know more about what they do. Researchers’ night combined games and fun with scientific topics creating the perfect ambience to attract the young generation into the field of research. This year researchers’ night in Cyprus witnessed a huge success with an unprecedented turnout and participation from schools, academia, and industry. From live music, all the way to fun scientific games and discussions, researchers’ night had something to offer to everyone.
With acknowledged support from Marie Curie ITN, EPOS IASIS was able to prove its presence and attract many of the attendees as we showcased our mind boggling demos. We had three different demonstrations on display, each representing the different ongoing projects at EPOS IASIS. Dr Nikos and Ahmed also took part in the event. Credit is due to the most recent addition to our team, Savvas, a PathChooser ESR, for putting his engineering skills into play and building an impressive 3D construct of the tumor microenvironment (TMI) and the tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) as a “marble run” toy for kids. Bright colors and different shapes were incorporated into the construct to make it as appealing to young children as possible. The game briefly entailed choosing a bead and placing it into one of the red tubes representing “blood vessels“. Beads would run down and fall out through the slits in the tubes. To win the game, the bead has to stably land on the cancer cell at the bottom. The construction was not only impressive to our little friends, who showed intense excitement, but also to the adults, which gave us positive feedback.
Savvas, PhD candidate, debuting his 3d tumor microenvironment model
Dr Yiota Christou, post-doctoral fellow, using honey filled jars to explain mucus found in adenocarcinoma
Three Minute Thesis Competition
June 2015, University of Bristol
Fellow Catherine Gilmore won the University of Bristol Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, presenting her three-minute talk entitled ‘The role of the placenta in fetal health’. She will next be participating in the national level competition taking place later in 2015.
The 3MT competition is run in 170 different universities in 17 countries worldwide. Individual universities run 3MT competitions, with competitors from all the different faculties, from humanities to the sciences, and the winner is put through to the national competition and finally a virtual international contest. It is a research communication competition wherein PhD students are challenged to present their research in just three minutes, using just one slide, to an audience of different backgrounds.
Modern NanoScience – What is it all about?
CBNI, UCD, Dublin, Ireland. June 25, 2014
Fellows Luciana-Maria Herda and Diána Hudecz presented an overview of PathChooser Marie Curie ITN and Marie Curie awards to 27 undergraduate students from Aarhus University, Denmark, who visited CBNI & UCD to discover what really takes place in a Modern BioNano Research Centre.
This outreach activity has been recorded on our university website.
UCD, Dublin, Ireland, March 2014.
UCD fellows, Luciana Herda and Diana Hudecz, held a workshop about nanoscience for nearly 50 secondary school students as part of the Future Scientist event (organised by UCD Access Centre) in the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science on the 26th of March 2014 (further information about the event here: http://www.ucd.ie/science/news/14mar/260314_future_scientist.html). During this workshop, the pupils had the opportunity to find out more about nanoscience, nanotechnology, and how the fellows’ projects (http://www.pathchooser.eu/research/fellows-research-projects/) fit in this field. In addition, they also participated in quizzes and other nanoscience related activities in order to get a better understanding of this exciting field of research.