2nd Edition TalentLab: 'Technologies from the Past' - workshop summary

On wednesday (January 23, 2013) we started the second edition of TalentLab with the workshop ‘Technologies of the Past’ that took place at the Residencia de Investigadores (CSIC-Generalitat de Catalunya). The session had an intensive work program. It began with a visit to the facilities of the Department of Archaeology of the Institución Milá y Fontanals (CSIC), where the in-house scientists had the opportunity to explain their research projects: from the study of organic and stone tools’ production and their georeferencing in collections, to the ethnographic and archaeological analysis of the constructions of the past, including paleobotanical and climate studies.

After the visit, we returned to the Residencia de Investigadores where the workshop activities, guided by Irene Lapuente from La Mandarina de Newton, took place. After a brief introduction to the project and to the structure of the session, the participants divided themselves into three working groups.

The materials (objects and images) that participants had previously selected were the starting-point for the first activity: a ‘warm-up’ to bring out ideas and start discussion within the groups.

The first group highlighted the still entrenched sexist image of prehistory, especially in the textbooks, and also the positive and negative dual side of technology that depends for what it is used for. The second group emphasized the role of technological production in the process of socialization and the emergence of humanity. Finally, the third group brought out the topic of the stereotyped archaeologists seeking treasures, which show up in movies (Indiana Jones, Lara Croft) and that blur the real motivation of an archaeologist: the interest in understanding how societies lived in the past. They also emphasized the need to be aware that archeological heritage belongs to everyone.

From these presentations came out an interesting discussion on the role that movies and TV have in developing people’s vocations. Participants agreed that this distortion of reality by the media could lead to frustration of the young teenagers that decide to venture into archeology.

Then the discussion move on to the importance of bringing students closer to real research and to promote their spirit of inquiry rather than simply transmitting knowledge. For the participants it was clear the need of reminding students, and society in general, that there is still much to learn. Then, the participants focused on the target audience of their educational resource project. From information gathered from interviews with real students, the groups had to identify their main interests and concerns and from here re-think their initial projects. Participants defined th priorities of their resources: the need for reflection and the need to move away from hackneyed subjects and, in contrast, to transmit veracity. Also which topics to avoid: the sexist vision of the past and the presentation of scientific facts as if everything was already known.

After a short break, the groups had to define the format of their educational resources and build a prototype or a scheme.

The first group thought of an activity in which, from object and tools images, the students had to identify and reconstruct the context from which they would have been extracted. These exercise would generate collective reflection about the objects, but also it would be a way to figure out what has been already discovered and what is still a scientific question.

The second group devised a board game, Evolupoly, as an assessment or synthesis activity. It would have the prehistoric eras represented on a concentric timeline and would end with the appearance of the first scriptures (in the centre of the board). The circles would be divided into boxes, each one corresponding to a series of questions that would test the knowledge of the students.

Finally, the third group proposed an educational resource with which the students, from images of ceramic objects, would build replicas and explore and deduce what they were used for. At the same time, this hands-on activity would be supported with information about the origins of the object and its historical context.

In the end, the participants voted for the best of the proposed educational resources. They chose this last project. After an open discussion about all the proposals that had been presented, we considered the possibility of incorporating ideas from the other resources into the winning one. Now, we must work on this educational resource with the collaboration of everyone!

You can find more photos in our Facebook page.

For more information you can also check out the website of TalentLab.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC. 
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

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Presenting educational resources co-produced by teachers and researchers. New workshops starting in January!

On November 28th, 2012 the second edition of the Talentlab project was publicly presented at CSIC. This is a project supported by the Unit of Scientific Culture of the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia, and it is done in collaboration with la Mandarina de Newton. The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, FECYT, has also provided financial support.

The presentation of the second edition of TalentLab was open to all people interested in science. It took place at 5pm in the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia facilities (Egipcíaques, 15, Barcelona) and it showed the goals and results of the first edition of the project. Among them, the educational resources co-produced by participants. It also presented the new edition of TalentLab and their upcoming co-creation workshops. There also was an open round where researchers an secondary school teachers shared their experiences as active participants in the project.

Talentlab: past, present and future.

TalentLab is a co-creation project. It revolves around the organization and analysis of participatory workshops that put in contact different communities. These communities are mainly researchers in CSIC centers and secondary school Science Teachers. Together, they co-designed new educational and science communication materials for secondary school students, focusing on scientific topics.

Its first edition was launched in the 2011-2012 academic year. There were four workshops for teachers and researchers. Each one facilitated that their participants worked together to create new online educational resources, These resources were meant to be later shared and used by the broader educational community in Spain.

One of the results of those experiences are four educational resources that show great richness and variety of content and formats. They include:

The interest of all these resources lies in how they turn secondary school students into the protagonists of a research activity. This could promote their capabilities for research, creativity and reflection.

The second edition of Talentlab is now under preparation with upcoming new workshops open to teachers and researchers alike. They will start next January, 2013. This time, Talentlab will be focused on archeology, space sciences and marine sciences. It will try to exploit to its fullest the common thread connecting all them, namely, risk and technology. On the other hand, Talentlab has opened a new line of work that includes the participation of a wider audience with the aim of involving them in the design and subsequent creation of a scientific exhibition.

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TalentLab: Amongst Intelligent Machines–session II

The second session of the “Amongst Intelligent Machines” workshop, from the TalentLab project, took place on March 21st. On arrival, we resumed the groups of the previous session and we started working. First we warmed up engines with an activity that sought to recover and share ideas from the first session. Thus, each group summarized the main lines that define the resources proposed in the brainwritting or fast rain of resources.

After being placed, we got straight to the matter and the groups were proposed to specify a single resource proposal. The proposals were constructed by combining knowledge (imagination, experience, talent, etc.) and available materials (clay, ribbons, sticks, balls, etc.).

The first group came up with a platform (or box) from wich emerged challenges to be solved by users based on his knowledge of constraints. The challenges could be to design an urban ecosystem management (dams, nuclear plants, etc..) and the users would be different educational centers proposing solutions based on collaborative work. The second group proposed a game that could be physical (boardgame) or virtual designed to exercise how to make decisions and work with values (money, culture, welfare, autonomy, etc.) in connection with the introduction of technology in society. The aim of this dynamic would be to show the influence of values when citizens of a given society make their own decisions. The third group conceived of a resource that would combine computers and robotics in order to work collaboratively. The idea is that two computers or users should design a common task to be performed by two robots like, for instance, two units transporting an object together. To accomplish the goal both robots should establish communication successfully, using Scratch programming to design and simulate the robotics tasks.

When the proposals were enough defined, we proceed with a series of iterations in order to improve them. The groups were divided so that one half stayed to defend the proposal in front of “potential users” posing doubts and exposing limitations. The other half went to see the proposal of another group putting on the skin of the “person” defined in the first session. After iterating a couple of times, each group shared the contributions made by other participants, identified certain deficiencies and incorporated new elements from the suggestions received. Thus, the first group saw the need to limit the approach of the platform to a single challenge with goals that should be defined. The second group incorporated the idea that the issues raised should be based on specific situations (such as a daughter that leaves her mother one afternoon with a robot companion). It was stated that the differences in values would emerge more clearly from this kind of situations. Also, he suggested the possibility that the users ponder by themselves the values associated with certain activities. Moreover, was made known the existence of similar resources as the Deliberatorium MIT or a card game. The third group saw the need to establish some kind of sensor-based communication between robots.

Later, participants were required to assess in more detail the main aspects of the resource to design (philosophy, theme, methodology, requirements, problems, budget) and these considerations were exposed to the other groups. Once done, there was a vote (I can’t remember the name of the voting system used). The most voted proposal was ArgumentaTIC, created by the second group, although all were well balanced and fairly valued. The possibility to incorporate aspects of the first and third proposals to the chosen proposal was also discussed.From now on we have to work on this proposal and see if it is possible to perform with the available resources, and other to come from other sources (sponsors) or if is more convinient to produce it at a later stage.

In the final reflection, some participants expressed their interest in seeing the work done in the workshop translated into an educational resource. A point shared by the organizing team, who reiterated the idea of producing educational resources arising from a process of co-creation, as one of the goals of this project. But at the same time, the team stressed the importance of the working process by itself, ie, the fact of involving teachers and researchers, the working dynamics, contacts established (worknetting) etc.

With this workshop we end the series of workshops planned for this year. Hopefully we will see soon the educational resources produced. We also hope that next year we can make the second edition, coming with with new topics (archeology, marine sciences, astronomy, etc.) and work together with more research centers that are asking for more activities. New workshops and new resources.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

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TalentLab: Among intelligent machines – session I

Last Wednesday we conducted the first session of the workshop “Among intelligent machines,” in the Research Institute in Artificial Intelligence IIIA (CSIC). This was part of the TalentLab project.

An intensive work program was scheduled for that day, starting with a site visit guided by David Sierra. His explanations helped to introduce ourselves to the different research lines undertaken at the institute, including a demonstration of dog-like robotic football players to explain how they manage machine learning.

After entering the work room, participants were divided into three groups and we began the session itself. In the inspiration stage, common ideas emerged within each group, although with different approaches. The first group  suggested the idea that “everything is connected,” and proposed a kind vision about technology, based on thought and physical reality (people, nature), combined with the use of the network and the “cloud”. This framework of connections could collapse under pressure of cutbacks. The second group drew some “axes” to be positioned between the “information chaos” of the network and the abstract order, on the one hand, and the boundaries between utopia (thought) and reality, on the other. These axes guide the use of technologies by people in everyday life and decision making. The third group showed the role of people in the “choice of the future” desired, taking into consideration knowledge, people and their own needs. They placed the dichotomy between two realities according to the role of technology: one supporting autonomy, responsibility and sustainability and another that creates dependency, is unsustainable and wants to control.

Then, the three groups proceeded to imagine the newsworthy events of an 8th March 2025. The predominance of digital format and new ways of communication were highlighted, while the shortcomings of infrastructure to bring connectivity to schools and the problem of energy resources were evidenced, as well as the possibility to have cars autonomously driven or the incorporation of robots in real life. There were also some coincidences in imagining a return to the pesseta (old currency). Regarding user profiles, was deeply discussed the idea of curiosity among young people, despite their lack of perseverance in completing tasks. Music, sports and technology were highlighted as main interests of this target group deeply based on friendship and social relations. Other comments pointed to their ability of not being always faithful to the truth or trying to invent excuses somehow suspicious.

Considering the ideas, concepts and debates hold during the three previous exercises, participants in each group did a quick brainwriting about educational resources that could allow teachers to work with technology and artificial intelligence in the classroom. Among all the proposals, the first group showed a preference for generating a networked resource that would promote an individual game to work with ecology and/or musical issues. They envisioned the possibility of linking this resource with robots or virtual reality, make it fun and, if possible, multi-platform. The second group proposed an online resource intended to promote collaboration for solving a current problem or challenge. Finally, the third group proposed work in a cross-resource that include patience as an ability to be learned.

In coming  days we will evolve ideas and we will continue with our work dynamics next session to help us define an unique educational resource.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

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TalentLab: Listening to the Earth - Session II

On February 15th we started the second session of the “Listening to the Earth” workshop, within the TalentLab project, with a visit to the centenary facilities of the Ebre Observatory (Observatori de l’Ebre de Roquetes). From the beginning the center was focused on the study of the relationships between the Sun and Earth, a pioneering research that, over time, has become increasingly important.

The visit focused on three main areas: the astronomical observatory, the meteorological station and the library. At the observatory we saw different telescopes used to observe the activity of the Sun and other less bright celestial bodies. At the weather station we saw different devices (traditional and modern) used to measure weather parameters. The Observatory owns a very homogeneous and stable data register (temperature, precipitation, humidity, etc.), which is highly relevant for climate studies. Finally, we accessed the library, specializing in Earth science, a pleasant place that over a century has accumulated more than one linear kilometer of publications. A centenary documentary essential for students of History of Science, where you can find technical books from the library of Narcís Monturiol.

After the visit, we went to a room to continue with the workshop in order to reach a specific proposal for an educational resource. We decided to join together in one group and to start working with our hands. But it took us a while: our engines were still cold!

Slowly, the first ideas arose: vegetation, facilities of the Observatory, videos, students, researchers, teachers, a wiki platform, a channel, weather stations, etc. From this point we began to mold the shape of the resource. It could be a wiki platform to work on the local climate combining the data collected with the observation of the vegetation. Students could try to find answers to the questions posed in a questionnaire and the results would be published on the platform with short videos easy to produce (MovieMaker). The idea is to offer an independent and interesting practice in itself, but could be complemented with a visit to the Ebro Observatory, thus adding value to the resource, comparing and discussing the data with professional researchers. The platform could also allow to compare data from different locations provided by different educational centers and, if done continuously, establish temporary records.

At this point, the proposal was contrasted with “future users”. They pointed the need for scheduled resources (files), that can be done in the classroom and in a cooperative way. Finally, the proposal was refined by introducing a wiki page for teachers and researchers where answer questions, include a protocol for making a rain gauge (if the school does not have one) and the possibility of comparing data between countries.

The group felt that the coordination between the Ebro Observatory and the CSIC Delegation is essential to go ahead with the project, both in preparing the contents and in managing the access to the wiki platform. The budget for this educational resource should not be too high. Finally, concluded that the title could be “My time and wether”. We could not ask for a more specific proposal.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

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TalentLab: Listening to the Eartch Session I

On January 25th we started the third TalentLab, workshop, “Listening to the Earth”. The place was the Ebre Observatory (Observatori de l’Ebre, CSIC-URL). As participants arrived they organized themselves into two groups, trying to find a balanced representation of backgrounds in each one. We introduced the workshop and the structure of the session, and we set ourselves to work.

First, to warm-up an spark inspiration, we put in common with all the groups the general context of climate change. We used images for that, ensued by a collection of the ideas that the images inspired to each participant. The first group emphasized the different scales (local, global) that we confront climate change and water problems. Also, they remarked the risks associated with water. It is a desirable and needed resource but it can also bring danger or disaster situations.

The second group suggested to visualize that the “path” to follow from one situation characterized by disasters (by natural or anthropic causes) to another, idealized, one where human action were harmonious with the natural environment, should go through the filter of scientific thought. This started a discussion with the first group. They thought that, nature (including big scale natural phenomena) had been harmonious before the human hand acted on it. We interpret that the “path” suggested by the second group wished to portray the ideal of a new rationality, a scientific thought that would act in a better accordance with the natural environment.

  

After this, we moved on to imagine future scenarios. Both groups focused on the local scale. The first one created a front page for the local newspaper (“La Veu de Roquetes”), for January 25th 2030. Headlines focused on water issues. Restrictions were damaging agriculture and the North-South water transfer had become obsolete. Energy also made headlines: they mentioned that oil was no longer the primary source of energy. They also reflected that life expectancy had reached 100 years.

The second group created a front page for the newspaper “Lo Sud”. The headlines emphasized the migratory movements originated by climate change (“Emergency world summit to solve a catastrophic situation: Norway reaches -30 Celsius and the Andalusia desert is offered as a relocation places for the displace Norweigan population”). They also mentioned the relevance of gene medicine to eradicate diabetes. The launching of a reusable space rocket was the last headline of “Lo Sud”.

After getting a view of the future, we moved on to imagine which type of user is hypothetically going to use the pedagogical contents resulting from Talentlab. Participants remarked user features related to general curiosity, as well as their interest in sports and culture. Also, a strong interest in using new communication technologies, specially Youtube. This started a short debate about the educational potential of this channel for science teaching. Different possibilities were mentioned. For example, its usefulness in showing scientific phenomena that are difficult to replicate in the classroom or, how to produce content for that channel. Also, how to get students into creating videos with experiences that they can upload to Youtube. In any case, it was clear that participants considered the channel as something to have into account.

In order summarize the ideas that emerged after these two activities, both groups created very comprehensive “paintings” that remarked the need to integrate natural and scientific aspects with social and economic considerations. The second group also depicted the need to introduce attitudes.

From this moment on, each group sketched an idea for an educative resource. The first group suggested the creation of a platform (wiki, blog, video, etc.) to work on the local effects of climate change. It should integrate scientific information (Physics, Biology, Chemistry, etc.). The second group suggested an “in situ” visit of the places and situations that users wished to get to know. Also, they also suggested graphic representations as a possible means of integrating knowledge and learning. For example, by using infographics, videos and other visual content.There are many things to be defined still. Nevertheless, it seems that there was a certain convergence towards the integration of different types of knowledge, to focus on local realities and the use of visual means. Let’s see what happens in the next meetings and how the initial proposal evolve.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC
Irene Lapuente. Co-Creating Cultures/La Mandarina de Newton SL 
Ramon Sangüesa. Co-Creating Cultures/La Mandarina de Newton SL
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TalentLab: React with the environment session II

On November 30th, we performed the second session of the ”React with the environment” workshop, at the Institute for Environmental Diagnostics and Water Research (CSIC). This time, all the participants sat around a table to share the highlights of the proposals that were presented in the previous session in order to design a unique proposal.

The need to create a resource that encouraged students to perform some type of research was highly mentioned. On the other hand, it was also stresses the need to look for subjects that students could find interesting and relate to everyday life. It was also spotted that this research had to be performed in small groups and it had to be independent of the research center. However, it was said that the educational resource could be adapted so the most interested students could extend their knowledge on the topics through a more extensive research project.

We discussed the topics that could be the source of these first level research projects. We chose three main areas: pollution, health and nutrition. Therefore, it was proposed to develop three research projects to address some environmental contaminants such as mercury, the trialometans and TBT (tributyl tin), and its effects on living organisms. The first two projects were thought for students at high school level and the third project was thought for students who are at 4th ESO grade. There would be the option to make some adjustments to adapt the projects to the Science for the Contemporary World school subject.

It raised the idea of ​​collecting information on the diet of the students in a class and relate it to the presence of organic forms of mercury in their hair, in order to work on the analysis of the accumulation of mercury in the food chain. To make this analysis we need to use some laboratory technique at the IDAEA. A few students and a teacher could go to the research center to visualise the process and then share it with the rest of the class. The second projet would consist in a collection of real data on the trialometans presence in chlorinated water (eg swimming pools) that CSIC could provide to students. Finally, the third proposal consisted on studying the TBT compound (used in paints for boats to avoid algae and other organisms) through the IMPOSEX effect in a kind of a marine snail. From the observation of many samples obtained in markets, students could study the phenomenon of masculinization of these snails.

It was suggested that the three research practices had an area of ​​documentation, a protocol of the test to be performed and/or some data to be analysed. We also talked about the possibility of students publicating their results. In addition, the educational resource could combine these three research practices with short videos and some visits to the research center. The researchers suggested that visits to the center could be concentrated twice a year during the first and the second term.

Now, we will continue working on the adaptation of these three educational proposals, which already have a high degree of precision, into a digital educational resource.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

Photo credits: Luís Echanove
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TalentLab: React with the environment session I

On November 23rd, we began the second TalentLab workshop “React with the environment” at the Institute for Environmental Diagnostics and Water Research (CSIC). First of all, we adapted the seminar room to our needs: the chairs with a built-in table (to take notes) were replaced by a pair of tables and some extra space. Instead of a speaker, we had some researchers and some teachers willing to work, following the instructions and activities proposed by Irene Lapuente from la Mandarina de Newton S.L.

Participants were divided into two groups. Following a similar pattern as we did in the first workshop, the groups were introduced to co-creation dynamics through various techniques to generate discussion within each group. This time, the main topic to work on was environmental chemistry.

 

The first activity, the creation of collages, was used to inspire an initial discussion. The participants showed their main interests and concerns about the environmental chemistry and, from there, the groups established some lines of interest. The first group presented a “chemistry balance” which plays an important role in the issue of risks versus benefits. They put the following example: the use of DDT and malaria. The second group linked water contaminants (mercury, tin, cosmetics, etc.)  and the need to stimulate curiosity and emotions to deal with this problem.

Then, both groups performed an exercise to anticipate how would be the future and what woulb be the goals for 2030. The first group presented the newspaper called “Now & Today”. They highlighted problems in water, energy and food in the context of a city. The newspaper of the second group was “TalentNews”. They highlighted the following issues: energy, water and climate change. Interestingly, both newspapers had only scientific news and none of them talk about politics, culture or sports.

When they defined the profile of the final users of the educational resources (mostly secondary students), they presented not very motivated or active students.

Once we had done these three activities, we proceeded to make an affinity diagram. The different groups were asked to identify the most rellevant concepts and words that had come up during the session. Both groups stressed that research and action were two of the most important requirements to develop an educational resource.

After the affinity diagram, each participant in each group was asked to propose three activities that followed all we had talked about. Then the participants voted the proposals they liked the most. At the end of the session, each group agreed to pick just one of all the proposals. The first group chose a resource about carrying a research on an environmental problems around the school. They gave priority to the scientific method. Next step would be to choose one problem to be studied more closely and propose some solutions or actions. The second group proposed the creation of a research project related to current research using video to record it.

At the end of the session, we had a very interesting and rich debate. Next session will be on the 30th of November. From now until then, participants will go on thinking on these topics and they will work in an online platform.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.
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TalentLab: Living Experiments session II

On Wednesday November the 2nd, we run the second session of the workshop “Living Experiments“, part of the TalentLab project, at the Agrigenomics Research Center (CRAG, CSIC-IRTA-UAB). We continued working with the same groups as the previous session. This time, though, we had three new members and a missing one. The three groups summarised the initial ideas of the resource proposals that they had defined in the first session. They also added new contributions from the reflections that participants had done online between the two sessions.

From there, the groups did a 3D prototype model of each of the proposals. The idea was to think with their hands using low tech materials to better visualize the resources and to identify areas for improvement that have not been taken into account. The first group proposed a cooperative resource based on bio-energy in order to disseminate their current research in the production of clean energy using living organisms such as microorganisms or transgenic plants. The idea was to provide an online platform for generating informed debates. The second group proposed the creation of a big challenge contest focus on fighting againts human hunger on our planet. Under this proposal, students were asked to offer solutions from different perspectives (scientific, social, North-South relations, etc..). This proposal was also based on an online platform. The third group proposed the design of an ecological footprint graphic adventure. The goal was to make students became more aware of the unsustainability of the nowadays consumption of energy.

At this point, in which the proposals were already quite defined, several iterations were made to refine them. Each group received two people from another group that raised doubts and questions about the educational resource, assuming the role of the character he or she had created in the previous session, ie, a hypothetical end user. This activity was repeated twice changing groups of people.

Later, the members of each group met again to discuss the feedback they had received from the hypothetical users. Each group defined its education proposal in its final version. They filled a matrix with concrete and concise information about their educational resource proposal: main topic, worked concepts, audience, methodology, technical requirements, feasibility, possible difficulties, budget, etc. The groups presented their proposals taking into account these aspects. Finally, they all proceeded to vote individually for the proposal they liked the most.

The result of the voting process was a tie between the second and third proposal. This hold into a general discussion. Among other issues, participants proposed to include the positive aspects of the first proposal into the most voted ones. They also studied how to integrate all the ideas into a single proposal.

Thus, we concluded the first phase of the work. From here we will consider the three proposals, the results of the voting process and the possible integration of all of them in order to produce a final online educational resource. In this second phase, the TalentLab team will continue to ask for the participants contributions!

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.
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The first TalentLab session: Living Experiments - I

Some days ago we held the first session of the workshop “Living Experiments“, part of the TalentLab project. It took place at the Agrigenomics Research Center, (CRAG, CSIC-IRTA-UAB) a research center of CSIC, the Spanish Sperior Council for Research. The session’s design included an intense working dimension. But, first, to warm up, we started with a visit to the CRAG premises. It was led by CRAG researcher Ana Caño who provided very interesting explanations. It was during the visit to the CRAG greenhouses that the participants in the workshop (researchers and school teachers) started to show their interest in the questions that the session was meant to revolve around.

Starting from these interests, as we had planned, we moved on to get to work in one of the CRAG work rooms. Irene Lapuente from la Mandarina de Newton S.L -CoCreating Cultures- started by explaining the structure of the workshop to the participants. In no time everyone was hard at work!

They organized themselves into three groups. By using different techniques, we facilitated different discussions within each group and a general one as well. Step by step, the attendees become more familiar with co-creation processes.

The first activity, to spark inspiration, started generic discussions about the relationship between science, education and society. The first group remarked the role of the different fears (fear to change in general, of nuclear power, of trangenics) in understanding the relationship between science and society. The second emphasized the role played by the media and educators in creating a predominant image of the animal kingdom in the collective imagination (making plants and vegetables much less prominent in comparison). Finally, the third group picked the goals of improving quality of life and general well-being as an important guiding princple for scientific research which, however, operates under anthropocentric premises.

After this, a more exploratory activity started. Participants were asked to identify challenges for education in the mid-long term (2030). There were significant coincidences between the three groups. All of them gave a key predominant role to the energetic challenge. There were specific contributions and variations on this subject. The first group projected a significant geopolitical shift, motivated by China becoming a global superpower. The second group anticipated a positive twist in the social consideration of researchers and school teachers. The last group envisaged an intensification of conflicts related to natural resources, specially water.

The participants defined the profiles of the users of the educative resources that will eventually be the result of the Talentlab project. They resorted to their own experiences or their imagination to depict the main traits of these future users. They were described as people familiar with new technologies -although they did not necessarily knew them in depth- who had low motivation, were skeptical about everything and had little confidence in their own abilities.

The last activity consisted in building an affinity diagram from elements that had emerged from the previous activities. The first group ideated an activity for the classroom about energy using participatory methodologies. The second group created an experiemental activity that should help in creating a direct relationship between researchers and students. The third group proposed to create a graphic adventure about energy.

All along the session the atmosphere was relaxed and favourable for working. Participants were able to move from very general discussions to a first levell of workable detail. From now until the next session (novembet 2nd) the groups have engaged themselves in an imternal documentation activity that is taking place online.

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Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC
Irene Lapuente. Co-Creating Cultures/La Mandarina de Newton SL
Ramon Sangüesa. Co-Creating Cultures/La Mandarina de Newton SL
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