16/07/2013, by

Catalan students come to ICIQ to do their research project

The treball de recerca is a research project every high school student in Catalonia has to do. They choose the topic they want to investigate. This topic can be in the context of a particular subject or it can also be interdisciplinary. Then, they develop a project supported by a mentor, which they will present during the second year of the secondary school.

ICIQ, as it has been doing since several years ago, opens its doors to students and secondary education centres that wish to do the experimental part of the research project in our centre.

This year, four high school students from different schools have chosen Emilio Palomares’ research group to study solar cells and solar energy conversion. Laia, Antonio and Emilio explained to them the functioning of solar cells and the students built them and measured their energy conversion efficiency.

These four students have been developing the experimental work during a week in which they have been able to not only learn about the scientific method and solar cells chemistry but also about the dynamics of a research centre. They even had the chance to attend a PhD thesis defense!

‘Before entering the research centre, everything seemed very serious: the security proceedings, getting authorisation, but once you are in here everything is fun’ – tells us one of the students.

Most of them chose ICIQ because, out of the topics their teachers suggested, this one on solar cells and energy was the most interesting.

‘Before coming here I was thinking about dropping chemistry, however, now I want to take it again’ – says another student. Therefore, it looks like their stay at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia has inspired them ‘I am not totally sure about what I want to do but this stay at ICIQ has shown me another path, a new way to do something that is very interesting. I don’t know yet whether I would pursue this career or not but I am delighted to have had the chance to explore it.’- adds another one.

Having the opportunity of working in a research centre for a few days is very enriching ‘the research we have seen so far in our schools has nothing to do with the research we have performed here. It is very different.’ – they state.

All of them recommend the experience to other students that have to do the research project, and all of them agree on the best bit of it: their mentors.

vídeo treballs de recerca

Another student comes from I.E.S. Martí Franqués, Tarragona, to Antonio Echavarren’s research team. He is closely working with Imma to study the essential components of different samples of camomile (Chamaemelum nobile), by using mass espectrometry and gas chromatography.

He is getting very interesting results and enjoying his research project very much.

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