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An excuse to teach R+D to highschool students

Students of the high school Alt Penedès at Futureco Bioscience's yard

Students of the high school Alt Penedès at Futureco Bioscience's yard

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On Wednesday, November 20th, on the occasion of the XVIII edition of the Science Week, a group students from the Highschool Alt Penedès, Vilafranca del Penedès visited our facilities.

We performed a guided visit with a welcome, presentation of what we do, a video projection and then split into two groups. While one group answered some questions the other was lead through the glass corridors where they could see the fully active R&D labs of Futureco Bioscience, while indicating the equipment and tools that are used daily in applied research to launch new biopesticides, biofertilizers and bio-stimulants into de market, as also to enhance product formulations of those that already have its commercial place. End of the visit of the first group. Role changing, so the second group visited while the first one answered to questions about biotech, environment and science.

Among the climatic chamber for product efficacy tests reproducing the conditions of humidity and temperature from anywhere in the world, and the fermenters in which is conducted on a small scale a mimicry of what will be the industrial manufacture of microorganisms, students speaked with their teachers and appreciated being able to see and understand where the things they learn in school lead to. See it, talk about it, understand it and live it directly.

One of the problems that come hindering learning science in Spain is the excess of students per class, the difficulty of coordinating the practical learning and the lack of resources to carry it out in laboratories such as chemistry and biology, subjects that lead to other technologies that are being born fastly and that are increasingly more specific disciplines, such as biotechnology, biomedicine, nanotechnology and materials engineering. Teachers pointed to the need for re-training to teach, especially in the later stages of secondary education, as the moment of choice of the students gets closer to what they will do with the next years of their lives. 

After the visit students declared having learned something, and were grateful to know exactly how a laboratory works. Some of them asked how they could work here and which were the conditions to do an internship. They left with a clearer idea of the difference between biochemistry and biotechnology, among what is a bioreactor, a bioprocess or an autoclave. Grateful for something necessary, as it is to move from the imaginary or represented schemes on a book, to the tangible objects in a space, with a sense in the context of the laboratory.

Beyond the educational programs that are decided previously by the academic administrations, the Science Week is a good excuse for spontaneous organization of activities by companies and technology centres to improve their commitment to society, collaborating with teachers to collaborate and show what we both can do, together: educate, disseminate and investigate.

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