MPIPZ joins Spanish outreach activity

April 05, 2022

Enric Bertran Garcia de Olalla, a PhD student in the Department of Plant Development Biology, took part in a Spanish outreach school event in March this year.

The format of this outreach activity, originally developed in the UK (“I’m a scientist, get me out of here”) takes place in an online setting.School pupils interact with scientists via live chats and in the end vote for their favourite scientist. The winner then receives some prize money to support further outreach activities.

This school outreach activity runs in various countries.

The Spanish version of the initiative from the Spanish federation for science and technology (FECYT) named Somos científicos y científicas, sácanos de aquí (“We are scientists, get us out of here”) consisted of a series of 30 minutes text chats between a panel of scientists from different areas, and groups of students from different high schools of Spain.

During these chats, the students were allowed to ask any question, which was a chance to solve different questions about science, scientific careers and the daily life of a scientist.

The students took advantage of the discussions with Enric, asking about general plant biology, and in particular to better understand the motivation behind the research of flowering time.

For Enric, originally from Spain, it was a great and very enjoyable experience being able to explain his project in his mother tongue.

“Many participants found the study of flowering time quite strange at the beginning, but this was mostly because they never considered that this process could be complexly regulated, including at the genetic level. Many students surprised me with questions about plants. Moreover, they got interested by the fact that I was writing from Germany, so they asked me many times how I ended up in here. I really recommend to take part in this program – it was really rewarding!”

A fantastic way to communicate science to school children and a great experience for all scientists taking part.

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