Crag News

Sowing curiosity about plant science

During Science Week, CRAG brings research in plant biology closer to schools and high schools thanks to the experimental workshop "Mutant plants" and the photographic exhibition "Who investigates plants?"
CRAG researcher Andrea Martín visits the photographic exhibition "Who investigates plants?" after her talk at the high school
CRAG researcher Andrea Martín visits the photographic exhibition "Who investigates plants?" after her talk at the high school

From November 12 to 21, the 26th Science Week is celebrated in Catalonia, ten days full of scientific dissemination activities for all audiences. This year, CRAG participates in this initiative with the project Sowing curiosity, with the collaboration of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) – Ministry of Science and Innovation. This project includes the Mutant plants workshop for primary school students and the photographic exhibition for high schools Who investigates plants?, as well as the Plant defence workshop, which will be held later in this school year.

For six days, more than 130 students in fifth and sixth grade of the Canigó (Sant Just Desvern), Rellinars (Rellinars), Tiziana (Tiana) and La Trama (Sabadell) schools will visit CRAG to do the Mutant plants experimental workshop, in which they will have to solve a challenge following the scientific method and using laboratory material. In the workshop, children will have the opportunity to experience plant science first-hand, working side by side with researchers and analysing model plants such as Arabidopsis, tomato and rice.

The Mutant plants workshop is the result of a collaborative project between a scientific institution -CRAG-, a team of STEM teaching experts -the Centre for Research in Scientific and Mathematical Education (CRECIM), of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)- and the teachers and students of an elementary school -the Joan Maragall School of Sant Cugat del Vallès. Given the good results of this formula, the CRAG-CRECIM tandem has teamed up once again to design the Plant defence workshop for high school students, which will be held in March.

During this quarter, the Menéndez y Pelayo high school (Barcelona) hosts the photographic exhibition Who investigates plants?, a scientific communication initiative led by Michela Osnato (postdoctoral researcher at CRAG) that aims to give more visibility to plant biology and to break stereotypes associated with researchers. Complementing the exhibition and during the Science Week, the pre-doctoral researcher at CRAG Andrea Martín offers a talk to 4th year ESO students from the same high school about the daily life of young researchers inside and outside the laboratory.

In addition, CSIC researcher at CRAG Pere Puigdomènech has participated in the round table Fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, organized by the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona (RACAB). Fruits and vegetables are essential for human nutrition, food security and health, and for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is why the United Nations General Assembly designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (AIFV), and this year's edition of Science Week has not missed the occasion to highlight this event as one of its central themes.

About the funding of the project

The project Sowing curiosity has been funded by the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FCT-20-15632) and by the distinction Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2020-2023 (CEX2019‐000902‐S), both granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

With the collaboration of: