The 21st Anniversary of IST Taguspark campus was celebrated with an Open Day that brought together professors, researchers, students, non-teaching staff, partners and the people in general, a Solemn Session and a Music performance.
The Open Day started at 10 a.m. The visitors had the opportunity to visit the student groups exhibition stands and the several laboratories.
The experimental physics laboratory, located in the first floor, attracted many visitors, who took part in some lab experiments. Professor Artur Malaquias, responsible for the DF laboratories at Técnico Taguspark campus, explained the role of physics in our daily life. “We prepared some experiments that we consider to be more dynamic and catch people’s attention”, highlighted the professor.
The activities carried out in the Stem Cell Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory focused on PCR techniques. “We decided to show our visitors the various activities that we carry out, in particular molecular biology, the PCR technique that has become very well-known because it is used to diagnose people infected with COVID-19, and we are also visualizing cell state transition”, said the researcher Simão Rocha.
Joana Lobo Antunes, Head of Communications at Instituto Superior Técnico, welcomed the participants of “Explain it like I’m 5 – talks at Técnico for children and other curious people of all ages”, a Facebook event that takes place on Saturdays, at 11 a.m. Professsor Paulo Ferrão, researcher and president of IN+ Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, and Técnico professor, was invited to explain what happens to a fridge after it goes to waste. “The talk was very interesting because we understood how appliance recycling works”, said Lourenço, a 10-year-old boy.
The Open Day included other activities addressed to children, such as welding on equipment with electronics, Cryptokids and “Pisca-pisca com Arduino”.
An activity that should be continued
“The Open Day brought together different people: families with children attending secondary school and people who decided to come from mere curiosity, including families with children, which was very challenging”, said Simão Rocha.
“We often use a more technical language, even with 1st year students who already have some scientific training. Today, we had to adapt it to children aged 3, 10 and 12 who came to visit us. Trying to explain these experiments in real time, with a very simple approach, was not easy”, said professor Artur Malaquias.
The Técnico professor and artist Andreas Wichert presented 40 digital paintings from his collection titled “Art and Technology”, which reflects his way of seeing the world.
Other participants in the Open Day: the IST Taguspark Game Lab, the Interactive Robotics Laboratory, the SMARTMOB Laboratory, the Técnico nanoSAT Lab, the Lourenço Fernandes Laboratory – Augmented and Virtual Reality, the Nanophysics Laboratory, the Aerial and Marine Robotics Studio, the Electronics Engineering student group, the Industrial Engineering and Management student group, TL Moto, Técnico FuelCell, Técnico Solar Boat, and also activities with a Search and Rescue Terrestrial Vehicle and Natural Language Processing demonstrations. During the afternoon, the scientist Rodrigo Ventura gave a talk on intelligent space robotics.
Taking into account the number of participants and the interest shown, the recommendation is that the Open Day at Técnico Taguspark campus should be continued.
“This is my first time and it has been fantastic. People are having fun”, says Eduardo Barrancos, Técnico student and Community Manager at GameDev Técnico. “I was a bit skeptical about the number of visitors that would show up. We had a lot of people visiting us, more than twice what we expected. I think this is good news for the future and it makes sense to repeat this event. We have to prepare ourselves even better”, said the researcher Simão Rocha.
“This is the first time that I’m participating and I’m really enjoying it. The young people came with a lot of curiosities and asked a lot of questions, so I think it’s a good idea to hold this event in the future”, said professor Artur Malaquias.
The solemn session
As tradition dictates, the solemn session included an anniversary cake and the audience sang “Happy Birthday”.
The solemn session was attended by the President of IST, professor Rogério Colaço, the Rector of Universidade de Lisboa, professor Luís Ferreira and the Councillor of the Oeiras City Hall, Dr. Pedro Patacho.
“I would like to congratulate Técnico and ask you to continue to be the leaders, as you’ve been doing for more than a hundred years, especially in the history of this campus”, said the Rector of Universidade de Lisboa. “In order to fulfil its mission, the Taguspark campus must be an integral part of the ecosystem in which it is included”, said the president of Técnico.
The Vice-President of IST for the Management of Taguspark campus, professor Helena Galhardas, expressed her ambition to take the campus to a new level: “We have a 13-hectare campus, with the possibility of building new scientific buildings and a new Hall of Residence. A landscape requalification project for the creation of a garden that will benefit the Técnico community and the citizens in general is underway”
The music performance by the “Ensemble Barroco D. José I” included Telemann sonatas.
The first edition of the Open Day at IST Taguspark campus had the support of Oeiras City Hall and MAAC – Música Antiga Associação Cultural.