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Outreach News

Friday, 12 May 2023

NanoEduca 2022-2023 draws to a successful close with an engaging event

by Àlex Argemí

NanoEduca's annual programme, offering secondary school students an immersive introduction to nanoscience and nanotechnology, concluded on May 10 with a vibrant event at the University of Barcelona's Faculty of Biology. The day was filled with student-led presentations, engaging scientific demonstrations, career-inspiring talks, and an awards ceremony recognising the most creative and rigorous student projects.

The curtain fell on another successful year of the NanoEduca programme on May 10, 2023, with a lively event hosted at the Faculty of Biology, Universitat de Barcelona (UB). The programme, driven by UB, the ICN2, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Societat Catalana de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (SOCnano) and the CESIRE of the Department of Education of the Generalitat of Catalonia, is designed to introduce secondary school students and teachers to the fascinating world of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

This year's finale was a celebration of nanoscience, its impact on our lives, and the students' journey through the programme. Over ten schools participated with a plethora of engaging videos showcasing their understanding and interpretation of the nanoworld. The event began with Jordi Díaz and Joan Mendoza, from UB's Scientific Technical Services, setting the stage for the day's objectives, followed by representatives from UAB (Eva Pellicer and Maria del Mar Puyol), SOCnano (Diego de la Vega) and ICN2 (Àlex Argemí and Ana de la Osa, from teh Communication Department) discussing the opportunities that pursuing science at Catalan universities present.

A panel of young scientists in various stages of their careers, including predoctoral researchers sharing their first steps into the world of research, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Eduard Masvidal from the ICN2 Advanced Electronic Materials and Devices group, and a scientist with extensive experience in science communication, shared their experiences and insights. The panel sparked enthusiastic discussions about the intricacies of a scientific career and the transformative potential of nanoscience in society.

After a short break, the event kicked into a higher gear with AFMman's entertaining and informative demonstration of how AFM and STM microscopes work. Dressed in his microscope-tip costume, AFMman, with the help of students, scanned the surface of the stage, bringing laughter and learning to the audience.

The event concluded with an awards ceremony, recognising the most creative video (Institut Les Planes), the video with the greatest scientific rigour (Institut Joan Brossa), and the school that showed the highest level of involvement in the NanoEduca programme (Institut Mercè Rodoreda). Winners and finalists received a variety of prizes including t-shirts, popular science books, and smartphone adaptors to convert their mobiles into virtual reality goggles for exploring immersive scientific content.

With this year's success, we encourage schools not yet familiar with NanoEduca to explore the wealth of educational opportunities the programme offers. We look forward to welcoming new and returning participants to the next edition of the teacher training and programme finale events.

Discover the world of nanoscience with NanoEduca, because the smallest things can make the biggest impact!