Close to 40 teachers from schools from different parts of the country participated in the workshop organized by CEDENNA with the objective of brining nanoscience to teachers and showing the main developments by researchers in sciences at nanometric dimensions.
In the fourth Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Workshop for High School Teachers (ProNano) brought together 38 teachers from different schools, 60% of them from the regions, including 20 cities in Chile.
The one-day workshop took place on May 25. It began in the VIME Building with a series of talks on different disciplines like biology, physics and chemistry, followed in the afternoon with visits to six laboratories in the REMS Research Center building and in the Food Science Building.
Among the most popular talks for the participants were “Nanobiometrics, designs inspired by nature”, by Dr. Patricia Díaz, who talked about how biological sciences can copy evolutionary mechanisms to develop new advances, for example, to combat cancer; and “Nanotechnology in your home”, in which Dr. Juan Escrig talked about how scientific developments are closer than one might imagine, affecting industries and daily life.
The talks in general reflected the multidisciplinary character of the Center, integrating biology, physics, engineering and chemistry, while the developments highlighted in the laboratories reflected the orientation to addressing problems facing the country.
Opportunity for teachers from the regions
Alfredo Llerena, a teacher from Sagrada Familia School in San Antonio, described the experience as “unforgettable”, above all for bringing them to scientific advances in situ and allow teachers be in contact with science production centers. I work in San Antonio and there are few opportunities there to access this type of experience”.
Meanwhile, for Sebastián Figueroa from Maisonnette School in Santiago the workshop was an excellent opportunity to learn what nanotechnology and nanoscience are all about and to see examples to contextualize the contents students see in classrooms”.
The director of the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Dora Altbir explained that “this activity is important for CEDENNA given that it is necessary for the educational community to know about the scientific work being done in Chile and the potential this work can have on the development of the country, not only as an outreach activity but also as an initiative that contributes to the education of the society and encourages the vocation of future scientists at a national level”.
Contribution to classrooms
The participants stated the contents of the workshop can be included in their classes. Carlos Ancatripai from Quellón School in Chiloé is already working on explaining nanometric dimensions to his students, as is Sandra Hernández form El Pilar Commercial School, who also hopes to address the applications and the possibilities of creating awareness of issues where nanotechnology offers solutions for problems facing our country.
After participating in Pronano 2017, Érika Martínez, from Bicentenario School in Talagante, expects to show her students the everyday aspects of nanotechnology, while Myriam Quinchao from Javiera Carrera School in Temuco, indicated that one of the aspects that she will develop with her students will be “choosing food with storing capacity according to their packaging,”, and Andrea Cáceres from Francisco Hernández Ortiz Pizarro School in Puerto Montt is interested in the theme of “research in Chile”.
The ProNano workshop is an initiative of the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CEDENNA) that is held annually at the University of Santiago. It is aimed at providing up-to-date information on advances in nanoscience to high school teachers. The workshop is offered free of charge.