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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

ICN2 hosts the first ESCOLAB of the season

A group of students have made their first contact with nanotechnology visiting the ICN2 facilities in a new season of ESCOLAB visits. They had the opportunity to enter the laboratories of the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NANOB2A) Group and interacted with the nanoscale through a hands-on experimental session led by the Communication Department.

One more encounter between science and education has taken place at the ICN2 recently. A group of Science students from IES La Ferreria, from Montcada i Reixac, visited our Institute last Monday, March the 16th. It has been the first ESCOLAB of the season and these meetings will continue during the rest of the school year.

The visit started with an introduction about what nano is, its implications and applications in our daily life and how ICN2 contributes to its development. The aim of the talk was also to encourage students to start a scientific career and to put their target to the nanoworld or, at least, raise their interest on a subject affecting society.

After the explanation, the visitors met CSIC Researcher Ana Belen Gonzalez from the NanoBiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NANOB2A) Group. She showed them their facilities, including some of the sensors which the group is working on. In a questionnaire made after the visit, students stressed the excitement of having the opportunity to interact with real researchers in a real laboratory. They enjoyed this part of the tour and wish they could visit more laboratories.

Finally, students had the opportunity to see four experimental demonstrations about phenomena that take place at the nanoscale. All the experiments were made of quotidian materials and evidenced in a simple way the properties of matter at nanoscale and some of its implications. Students could interact with the implementation experimenting in real live, understanding complex concepts such as the Tyndall Effect, nanoencapsulation or the properties of graphene. It was the first time that ESCOLAB visits include an experimental and interactive section and, reading student’s opinions and seeing their enthusiasm, the results are very encouraging.