Between the 1st and 26th of July 2013, 4 teenagers between 14 and 16 years old went to FUTURECO BIOSCIENCE’s labs to dress the white coat, put on a pair of gloves and assist, help and learn how works, in a practical manner, the biotech crop research for the development of environment friendly plant nutrition and protection products.
This experience is part of the initiative Tackle Biotech, a name that summarizes the first contact these kids had with biotechnology. Instead designing a summer stage specially to educate, where experiments are simulated, at FUTURECO BIOSCIENCE experiments and practices were real, so the students could submerge in the lab activity and adapt to its routine, and learn also how a company works.
Students experienced and gave their support in key steps of the developing processes of a biopesticide, from soil sampling to find microorganisms as biological control agents (the active ingredient of biopesticides), to product testing on diseased plants due to fungi or pathogenic bacteria, or affected by any pest in order to assess their effectiveness in vivo. Students completed a day-by-day dossier, specially designed for experiments and an exam at the end of the stay, which occupied 17 pages. Although this may seem a torture, the students were thrilled with the experience and acknowledge that they have learned a lot.
Carolina Fernandez, Director of R & D, concluded the experience of tutoring the kids, along with more researchers from the Department of R & D, as "at the beginning we thought it was going to be difficult for some of us to fit the presence of 4 teenagers in our daily research, and moreover we had to design practices that could keep their interest and arouse their scientific curiosity for 4 weeks. The experience has been largely positive as we got both challenges. Also we saw (thanks to the super-exam) they understood well the concepts and methodologies we had taught them. Perhaps none of these 4 guys will get engaged tomorrow on biotechnology, but at least they had the opportunity to learn what it is about, in order to have more tools to decide their future ... "
The practices were disseminated through the profiles of FUTURECO BIOSCIENCE on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, where you can find some of the pictures and the evolution of the process.