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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The winners are...

It has been very hard to choose the best videos. The audiovisual quality, ingenuity, creativity, good intention, clarity and originality of the submitted pieces is very high. The Science of the City website has received almost 9,000 visits. Over 1,000 people voted for their favorite video. The Tech Virtual website and the Science of the City platforms have collected nearly 100 commments and Twitter has tweet a lot congratulating all the participants. However, the day when we get to know what videos were selected by both the public and the jury has arrived!

The awards

Best video overall (600$)

It’s why you don’t tip over and break your neck
by youraentbenjamin


Best video in English (300$)

White-topped buildings, who loves the sun? by Anna Cabré


Best video in Spanish (300$)

La asombrosa composición del átomo by Núria Jar


Best video in category: a question (150$)

City Sounds- A new source of energy? by Emily DeHority


Best video in category: an experiment (150$)

Science of the Playground by ScienceAtThePark


Best video in category: a discovery (150$)

Rozar y calentar – Rub then heat by Albert Mundet


The most voted video (150$)

La Luna en Montjuïc
by Rubén Permuy and Inés Navarro

We would love to give many more prizes and we would like to congratulate bluntpencilprod for her counting cars experiment, Arthur Carcavilla for the four videos he made ​​with the help of his students, Armine I. Dingilian for asking herself how does corn pop, Punt TIC Joves, Emily Ramos for her explanation, the group of young people in Brooklyn who have been watching their streets with a critical view and they have shown us why streets have potholes, Nuria Sala and Martí Badal, Manuel Diaz Escalera, the Universidad de los Niños and Daniel Laguna’s students. In conclusion, many thanks to all the participants and thanks for all the excitement you have shown to us!

However, the contest is not finish yet! The deadline for submitting videos in French will be open until July 19th. These days the Paris Academy of Science is running workshops to show how to do science videos in the city of Paris. Do not miss the delivery of the best video in French prize at the Paris-Montagne Science Festival in Paris.

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