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Alba, Jack and Kunzangla as well as Ana – left side – Guille, Esti and Raquel (altogether, The Cellular Signaling team) and Elena Urcelay, the head of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos research Institute

On the 28th of September 2018,  along with Guillermo, and other members of the group (without whom the event would have been impossible to achieve) we took part in the European Researchers Night, a Europe-wide public outreach event dedicated to popular science and fun learning.

The session was held at Aula Zarco, part of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos in Madrid. Thirty eight high school students were in attendance.Kunz 2

To kick-start the event, Guillermo provided a short talk about the European Union in science and the Horizon 2020 program before talking briefly about the TRAIN consortium and the great work we do.

Next, the students were in for a treat (literally as for game prizes we had chocolates and also figuratively as our games were awesome) and learning of science with fun and interactive sessions.

 

Guillermo kick-starting the event with an introduction to EU in science and TRAIN of course

 

Activity 1 was about diagnosing disease with the use of Biomarkers through role playing. We achieved this by the students playing the role of patients and us    providing the results of medical tests. The students, with the aid of a crib sheet, diagnosed the disease and suggested the correct treatment options. The session was filled with laughter as they tried to enact being sick and their friends trying the level best to diagnose them, with great success.

Activity 2 was a Cell signaling puzzle. The basics of cell signaling were briefly described to the students who then put the puzzle pieces together followed by discussion about the parts of a signaling cascade. They were certainly intrigued with the efficacy and the efficiency of the system.

Activity 3 was a high-energy Cell signaling game. The students dressed up as target proteins, kinases and phosphatases, who then had to do what they did best; run around and try to remove or attach phosphates (plastic balls) from the target proteins. The students were engaged the whole time through each activity, asking many questions and certainly having fun.

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The team donning our game shirts and three students with us in frame, (extreme right)

In addition to the morning event with the students; we also took part in another session organized by Sociedad Española de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular (SEBBM) entitled “CRISPR-Cas – A revolutionary tool in genetic editing” where we attended a talk from Lluís Montoliu, an expert in the field.

This was followed by us being part of a “European Corner”, along with few other researchers on Horizon 2020 programs. We were happy to answer questions to members of the public in attendance about EU funding programs for science and various other initiatives.Kunz 4

All in all, it was a great experience for us having had the opportunity to speak about our work. We are incredibly grateful to the Hospital Clínico San Carlos, the Complutense University and the organizers who made it possible for this workshop to take place, to help strengthen the efforts made to enrich the lives of students, faculty, and other researchers, or any other person who attended.  Knowledge helps empower.

It was indeed a Great Noche de Ciencia!