SPaRK researcher Alvaro Carcamo Martinez recently attended the EU Science is Wonderful event in Brussels! Read his fascinating account here.
Last week I had the chance to travel to Brussels to participate at the Science is Wonderful! fair. Organised by the European Commission and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, this event aims to showcase to school kids and general public projects funded by the EU, the key being to explain the objectives of the project with simple experiments. Hence, to showcase the microneedles technology explored on my PhD I developed bigger-scale 3D printed microneedles and use Play-Doh so kids can insert them and see what happens when needles are applied into the skin. Magnifying glasses, polymers, gels, microneedles moulds, a thermal camera and gummy bears-as essential give-aways- were used to keep the attention of kids.
As English is not the main language in Brussels, french, dutch and flemish interpreters were available to simultaneously translate the project to visitors. However they were not available at all times and so my Spanish became useful since, quite surprisingly and shocking, there were several kids that spoke it and were able to translate to their classmates in either Dutch or French!
I also got the opportunity to talk about my project to Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and Themis Christophidou, Director General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture for the European Commission, discussing the importance of events like this to disseminate research to general public, as most of the research projects are funded by people’s taxes.
Overall, an excellent opportunity to disseminate part of my PhD work with school kids, adults, and policy makers, to visit a fascinating city and to realise that I should start learning a new language!!
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