Science education & public engagement
CRAG counts with a Communication and Open Science Office that devises science education and public engagement activities. This Office is recognized as a Unit of Scientific Culture and Innovation (UCC+i) by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT). The Spanish UCC+i act as intermediaries between their host institutions and citizens, with the main aim of promoting scientific, technological and innovation culture though different types of activities. The activities offered by CRAG can be found at the OUTREACH section of this website
CRAG seeks to apply the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles in the activities it designs and offers. Among the science education activities, two workshops addressed at school groups stand out: the Mutant Plants workshop, for 10- to 12-year-old children, and the Plant Defence workshop, for 16- to 18-year-old students. Both workshops were designed by multidisciplinary teams involving CRAG researchers, outreach professionals and specialists in STEM education; tested with school groups and thoroughly evaluated in regard of their impact on the students. The Mutant Plants and Plant Defence workshops pursue a triple aim: 1) to help students understand how scientific knowledge is constructed, 2) to promote scientific vocations, and 3) to publicize the importance of plant science to meet the current and future societal challenges. To meet these goals, the workshops use an inquiry-based learning model, in which the students act as “real” scientists.
The gender perspective is embedded in all the science education activities that CRAG organises, seeking to provide women as researcher role models.