In direct contact with science: middle school students in an on-campus classroom

In direct contact with science: middle school students in an on-campus classroom

GROSSETO – Slides, solvents, microscopes and other “tools of the trade”. Thus, on Thursday morning, first, second and third grade students of the Madonna delle Grazie High School of the Diocesan Foundation Giovanni Chile tried a laboratory activity in the Science and Technology Center of the University of Polo Grosseto. .

This initiative is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Grosseto University Polo Foundation, of which the Chelli Foundation is a member. Accompanied by science teachers – Prof. Dr. Natalia Ballestri and prof. Emanuele Montefalchichi – The boys, alternating from one class to another, carried out two hours of laboratory activity at the university to carry out activities of deepening and strengthening of scientific disciplines with the prof. Giacomo Spinsanti is a researcher at the Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Siena.

“This early morning – explained teachers Balestri and Montefalchesi – the students studied cells, yeasts and bacteria and extracted their DNA by experimenting with tools that are usually used in the laboratory. They did not leave quickly because inside the school there is a science laboratory used by high school students and preparatory students, thanks to the patience of And the competence and experience of our laboratory technician Franco Carrarese. Of course, having this experience in a university laboratory is a huge leap in quality, which enhances their expertise and skills.”

The project will run for four Thursdays.

The Science and Technology Center consists of a multidisciplinary laboratory linked to disciplines related to natural sciences, biology, biotechnology, and technical scientific culture in general. Located in the premises of the Grosseto University Polo Foundation, the laboratory is equipped with a series of scientific equipment and laboratory furnishings on an area of ​​approximately 100 square meters suitable for hosting a variable number of 20 to 30 guests. The activities are based on the use of practical and theoretical teaching methodologies of a completely innovative “learning by doing” type drawn from academic fields, for current and engaging science teaching, structured in a customized manner based on the most heterogeneous specific skills and differentiation.

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“The agreement between the Grosseto University Polo Foundation and the Chelli Foundation – explains the director of the Madonna delle Grazie and Chile High Schools Paola Biondo – gives us the opportunity to introduce young people to the use of light microscopy as a tool capable of allowing the visualization of cells and single-celled organisms such as yeast and bacteria. During the first three trainings, the production of Histological slides of animals, plants, bacteria and yeast cells The final lesson will be devoted to DNA, its structure and function Students will be directly involved in its extraction from fruits Laboratory activities are organized using professional microscopes in order to stimulate students’ curiosity and interest in biology and are an opportunity to deepen the theoretical aspects of the topics covered In collaboration with our teachers. A really great opportunity.”

“The Science and Technology Center, created thanks to bid grants from Mur, as part of the Scientific Publishing Projects, is tangible evidence of the commitment of the Grosseto University Polo Foundation in the field of science education – says President of the Pug Foundation, Gabriella Papponi Morelli – the latest reports Censis on the country’s social situation mercilessly highlights the shortcomings of Italians in this area: the percentages of those who deny the existence of coronavirus or climate change are alarming, as well as those who argue that the Earth is flat, that vaccines are ineffective, or that science does more harm. Which works. A lot of ignorance is certainly the result of the lack of scientific education starting from primary schools and exposes the population to wrong and dangerous behaviors and lifestyles. In this context, the Science and Technology Center envisions itself as a support structure for schools of all levels in the STEM (Science and Technology) sector Engineering and Mathematics). Topics covered by different teachers during school hours. Our Center is open to cooperation, completely free of charge, with Grosseto and District Schools that intend to enhance the educational offer in the scientific field. We are particularly excited about the agreement with the Diocese of Giovanni Chile who immediately proved sensitive to share this journey with us. In the coming months, this cooperation will be further strengthened, not only by involving the classical and science secondary schools of the same institution in scientific publishing activities.

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