We seek to raise public awareness of chemical research as a key factor in the progress of our society. ICIQ is also committed to engage and encourage youngsters to pursue a career in chemistry research. To this end we carry out several outreach activities to audiences of all ages as a way to get chemistry closer to society. In 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic, our outreach actions were mainly online.
We started our participation in “Repte Experimenta” an online platform coordinated by the URV, which aims to arouse interest in science among children. The project seeks collaboration with the educational community and offers workshops, a video contest of experiments, and a science fair. The platform itself is also a resource for home and school experiments.
More information about the project:
ICIQ has a very solid and successful strategy in science education and communication. We want to maintain our status as a reference point on topics related to science communication and education. In this regard, we have several activities addressed to the educational community (‘From the lab to the classroom’; Chemistry workshops for high school students and ‘My First Experiment’ directed to primary school students), courses (ICIQ Summer Camp) and open access educational material for ICIQs educational platform (ICIQ Virtual Laboratory) to better support teaching and learning chemistry methodologies. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic restrictions, we couldn’t carry out most of the activities.
We also have alliances with science education foundations (‘Crazy About Chemistry’; BIYSC and ‘Youth and Science’ programmes from Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera), and the ‘Science at School’ programme from Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació. In 2020 we just held the “Crazy about Chemistry” course, once it was adapted to an online format.
“Científiques: Passat i Present” and “Fotosíntesi Artificial: Imitant la Natura”. Both activities received funding from Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT-Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades).
“Scientists: Past and Present” connects the biography, research and discoveries of women scientists of the past with their peers in the present. A journey through the life and discoveries of women who have worked and work in the fields of radioactivity, catalysis, crystallography, programming, DNA, light and geometry. This project is directed to primary school teachers to help them give visibility to female scientists. The education materials also include experiments to better understand the field of research of the scientists.
Web page: http://cientifiques-stem.cat/
“Artificial Photosynthesis: Mimicking Nature” consists of two teaching materials. A game that recreates a car race where the vehicles use fuel produced in a reactor from artificial photosynthesis. And an interactive online game in which, through three screens (macroscopic, microscopic and artificial photosynthesis), you can choose different variables to optimize the process of photosynthesis.
ICIQ participated on November 27, 2020 in “La Nit de la Recerca” event that for the third year is organized in Tarragona within the framework of the European Researchers’ Night programme. The Researchers’ Night is held simultaneously in 300 cities across Europe. The 2020 edition was held online, and audiovisual material (workshops) and online talks were prepared in schools. The aim of this proposal, which is coordinated by the URV, is to promote public recognition of researchers, show the importance of research in society, and make it clear that research is fascinating.
Media Relations and Social Media
We bring to the general public the results of the research that the ICIQ has achieved through the media. In 2020, ICIQ appeared 370 times* in many media outlets. Most of the appearances were on online platforms (302), followed by the written press (56), radio (9), and television (3). In addition, ICIQ was present in social networks, betting on the channels Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
*We only count articles where ICIQ and its researchers are the main subject.