GI-MS48-P05 The Crystallization Competition in the School: An innovative teaching/outreach tool for secondary schoolsThe ‘Crystallization Competition in the School’ is a teaching/outreach activity aimed at students aged 12-17, whose main goals are to disseminate the importance of crystallography and crystallization and inspire scientific vocations. Since it was first organised in 2009/2010 (Andalucía/Puerto Rico), the popularity of the Competition has quickly spread across Spain. In this school year (2017/2018), eight editions have been organised in different regions of Spain, counting with the direct participation of 282 schools, 495 teachers and 7,768 pupils.
The format of the Competition is intended to provide school students the experience of being a ‘real’ scientist: from designing a scientific project, through working in practical crystallization experiments and keeping a laboratory notebook, putting into practise their presentation skills and sharing outcomes with scientists and fellows from other schools. This innovative approach is implemented in three successive stages that place teachers at its heart in order to engage with the entire educational community. At the first stage, teachers are trained in fundamental crystallography and crystallization concepts through the organisation of a practical workshop that provides them with teaching tools and resources that can be turned into enjoyable activities for the classroom. In the second stage, students develop a laboratory project under the supervision of their teachers making use of a motivating crystallization kit of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (ADP) that enables them to stir their scientific imagination and bring out their scientific spirit. Students can also develop other types of projects such as crystallization of salts by cooling, formation of geodes and crystallization in gels. The final phase of the Competition is organised similarly to a scientific conference, where students make the presentation of a poster, their grown crystals and a lab notebook that is evaluated by a panel of scientists. By the end of the Competition, students will have learnt to behave as ‘scientists’ and developed work-related scientific values such as observation, systematic study, rational thinking, teamwork and communication skills.References:
We would like to acknowledge the contribution of the chairpersons of the different regional contests: Martha Santana Ibáñez (MS Services Granada, Andalucía); Sol López de Andrés (Universidad Complutense, Madrid); Begoña Bazán Blau (Universidad del País Vasco, País Vasco); Jesús Berenguer (Universidad La Rioja, La Rioja); Manuel de Pedro del Valle (Universidad de Cantabria, Cantabria); Maria Jose Ruiz García (Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Castilla La Mancha), Pilar Gómez Sal (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid), Vicente Pelegero García (Ciudad de la Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia), Vicente Esteve Cano (Universidad Jaume I, Castellón).
Keywords: Competition, Crystallization, Teaching