Crag News

CRAG gets students involved in plant research during Science Week

Middle school students have worked as plant biologists in the Mutant Plants workshop offered by CRAG

This last week, from the 11th to the 20th of November, the annual Science Week has been celebrated in Catalonia. Many research institutes have offered scientific dissemination activities for all audiences, and, once again, CRAG has joined this initiative with two activities aimed at students: the Mutant plants workshop and the "Who Investigates Plants?" photographic exhibition. These two projects, both funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), aim to make plant biology research a hands-on experience for middle and high school students, promoting, this way, the scientific culture in relation to plant science, genomics, agriculture and food.


In the Mutant Plants workshop, co-designed together with  the Centre for Research for Scientific and Mathematical Education (CRECIM), more than 125 students from several schools around the Vallès Occidental region have learned about mutations and have even identified some hidden ones in the seedlings of the model plant Arabidopsis. Working together with CRAG researchers, the student teams have observed, made hypotheses, and drawn final conclusions about genetic differences in model plants such as Arabidopsis, tomato, and rice. The students have been given real research experience, where they have become aware of their abilities for solving challenges following the scientific method and using laboratory material rarely accessible to them. They have also discussed about the importance and application of plant research, linked to the research conducted at CRAG.


Meanwhile, the Institut Caterina Albert has been hosting the photographic exhibition "Who Investigates Plants?", an initiative inside The Secret Life of a Plant Biologist project that aims to give more visibility to plant scientists by showing their daily life inside and outside the laboratory, their personal interests and their scientific work. To round off the exhibition and the Science Week, two of the CRAG PhD students, Andrea Martín and Nerea Ruiz, have given two talks to 1st and 2nd year ESO students with the goal of representing young women in science and of demystifying stereotypes associated with researchers.



About the funding of the projects


These activities are part of a project awarded by the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología to the CRAG’s UCC+i unit (FCT-21-16698) and by the distinction Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa (CEX2019-000902-S), both granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.




With the collaboration of:


Funding institutions