Science in the city to School Event
On the 1st of February, early-stage researchers Muhammad Ahmed from E-MUSE ITN and Esther and Fotis from TRANSIT ITN joined forces to engage students with STEM subjects.
The event was held at Mater Boni Consilii St Joseph School, Paola and aimed to engage students with STEM subjects and empower them to cultivate their passion for different subjects. On that day, two activities were being carried out in front of students to endow these young kids to move toward STEM careers. Excluding E-MUSE and TRANSIT researchers, there were three other researchers from different research fields, which made the whole research panel quite diverse.
The girl school in Paola hosted the event, ‘’Tabu MT’’ which saw 6 researchers from the University of Malta, answer questions from these 10-13-year-old students so they could guess which field of science each scientist worked in. But far from being so simple, there was a list of taboo words that could not be uttered by either the students or the researchers.
Some students asked good and twisted questions, avoiding Tabu's words to speculate the field of research of each researcher. The research areas ranged from engineering, energy, speech pathology, microbiology, food, science, and technology.
After the Tabu MT game, all researchers displayed their research activities at the school playground from different research areas. The day before the event the ESRs prepared yeast agar plates which they isolated from raw milk and displayed in the morning to all students. Every student was enthusiastic and keen to see how yeast looks and how it makes the dough rise for the bread and pizza.
Additionally, they performed aroma testing by carrying the four different aroma compounds they bought from a nearby supermarket. The four aroma compounds were ginger, lime, mint and vanilla. By observing student impression after smelling these aromas, anyone can make the proposition that students hate ginger aroma while loves vanilla. "We did receive hilarious and weird comments after aromatic testing, especially for the ginger smell" comments Muhammad Ahmed. Some students prefer the ginger aroma as a sewage smell, and mosquito spray while for vanilla it was the hand moisturiser. Out of all students and even their teacher only one student was able to identify three aromas correctly. Every student learnt significantly how to taste and smell food and why our appetite increased by just smelling different food, especially the one we love to eat.
ESRs Fotios Lytras and Esther Okafor from TRANSIT-ITN and ESR Muhammad Ahmed Ihsan from E-MUSE-ITN.
More info: Science in the city website here