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More than 1,400 young people from all over the province become scientists for a day

During the month of January, secondary and upper-secondary students participate in a University of Alicante programme promoting its internships




Photo gallery: Internships for Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Marine Science. Author: Rafa Pastor, UA Audiovisual Studio (FGUA)



Alicante, Friday 24 January 2020.

How to make invisible organisms visible, get to know which organisms can inhabit plankton  or how to extract natural products are just some training sessions that over 1,400 secondary students have been able to do during this month at the University of Alicante.

In this new edition of the UA Faculty of Sciences programme ‘Come and do your traineeships at the University’, students from all over the province have visited the UA campus facilities. They belong to 51 secondary schools from: Albatera, Alcoy, Aspe, Dénia, Dolores, El Campello, Elche, Elda, Ibi, Mutxamel, Novelda, Onil, Petrer, Pilar de la Horadada, Orihuela, Rojales, San Juan de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, Santa Pola, Sax, Torrevieja, Villajoyosa and Villena.

From 8 to 24 January 2020, pre-university students have discovered the practical side of Science through experiments and observation techniques. These training sessions focused on disciplines such as Biochemistry; Biotechnology; Marine Sciences; Ecology; Microbiology; Optics and Optometry; Analytical Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.  The Programme started in 2011 to bring science closer to the place where it is created, in the laboratory.

On Thursday 23 January, students from the secondary schools El Pla in Alicante and Allusser, inMutxamel, and schools CEBAT Mutxamel, San Juan Bautista in Denia, Altozano and Sagrados Corazones from Alicante participated in this project. UA lecturers, PhD and post-PhD students join the initiative each year on a voluntary basis with the sole purpose of bringing science closer to young people and awakening their scientific vocations. Coordinator of the Chemistry Degree and lecturer at the Department of Applied Physics Guillermo Chiappe was in charge of welcoming them and showing them all the degrees they can find at the UA Faculty of Sciences:  BiologyMarine SciencesPhysicsGastronomy and Culinary ArtsGeologyMathematicsOptics and Optometry and Chemistry; the national and international work placements they can access; and the High Academic Performance group (HAP) for the Degree in Biology offered by the University of Alicante.


Experience in the first person

UA Professor of the Department of Agrochemistry and Biochemistry and volunteer for the programme María José Bonete assures that it is a fantastic experience for students since they have the opportunity to access a comprehensive laboratory and to get to know the guidelines and recommendations to work safely in this space. In the case of internships in Biochemistry, they discover an area common in many undergraduate degrees such as Biology, Nursing, Nutrition, Chemistry ... which opens up a wide range of options for them, as Bonete explained.

Also, technician in the Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology and PhD student at the University of Alicante Fabio Blanco, said that when teaching the more practical part of sciences and the work that takes place in a laboratory, such as sampling methods and sample processing, this awakens a lot of interest among these high school students. They do not lift their eyes from the microscope, he stated.

From San Juan Bautista, a school in Denia, chemistry teacher Natalia Moreno is delighted to enjoy this experience and for the students to learn the work of a scientist. In fact, she said, that they have noticed that after participating in this programme, the interest in scientific careers has increased among their students.

Chemistry and Biology teacher at CEBAT in Mutxamel, José Miguel Castaño pointed out that this project helps young people to develop laboratory skills and help them learn about the work they will be doing before they enter university.  According to Biology teacher Jesus Ventura, at high school El Pla, students enjoy and are very excited to explore all the resources and infrastructure offered by the UA Faculty of Sciences.

Photo gallery



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