The Open Laboratories organised by the Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) included lectures, interactive experiments, film sessions and debates. About 2100 students from basic and secondary school had the opportunity to participate in different activities and to clear their doubts with professors and students.
According to Carina Esteves, a teacher from Escola Frei Gonçalo de Azevedo, one of the schools that participated in this year’s edition “the activities are very interesting and the students are very excited about being here. They are always looking for something new and for something else”. “They love these practical activities”, she adds.
The preparation of vanillin, the prosthesis components and the methods of extraction of anthocyanins from red rose are some of the topics that attract most students. This event is divided into Open Laboratories (secondary education) and Junior Open Laboratories (2nd and 3rd cycle of basic education). In early morning and early afternoon the older students attend lectures while the younger students watch a movie on chemical engineering and, at the end, talk about it.
Zita Martins, an astrobiologist and professor at Técnico, delivered a lecture in this year’s edition, as well as Dulce Simão, former researcher at NASA and currently professor at Técnico. According to professor Dulce Simão “meteorites are like a time machine that allow us to understand the origin of life on Earth”. “Chemistry is also fundamental in this area and there is a great demand for chemical scientists to help unravel these mysteries”, she adds.
DEQ Open Labs will end on Friday, February 9, and have the support of the Department of Chemical Engineering and more than one hundred students.