EscoLab | Connect research and classroom

The Escolab program, organized by Barcelona Ciència i Universitats of Ajuntament de Barcelona, has as its main objective to bring schools closer to the leading laboratories, institutes and research centers. For fifteen years, more than 100 centers and research groups have welcomed more than 75,000 students between ESO, Baccalaureate and Vocational Training courses. Now, in the middle of the 2021-22 school year, Escolab is growing with new activities, new virtual resources to enrich teaching and, in addition, it has included the last grade of primary school students.

“Connectem recerca i aula”

The Connectem recerca i aula (connect research and classroom) project is part of the EscoLab program. It aims to join science and education through the collaboration between a research center and the classroom, in order that students can get to know the research from a professional researcher. The aim is to encourage the participation of the students, incorporating and approaching new interactive activities to introduce the science into the classroom.

IREC is involved in this project as a research, technology, innovation center in energy during 2021-2022. The Institute offers to the students an innovative scientific dissemination to show its research to search solutions related to energy management through challenges of the related to the Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Energy Consumption and Production, Climate Action. This scientific dissemination opening a dialogue with the students to improve social training in science and energy, increase scientific knowledge and bring our research closer to the citizens.

This course included primary school teachers from the Escola del Mar (Barcelona) who worked together with IREC to carry out an educational project to connect science and education and will get results at the end of the current scholar year. In the future, the project will be replicated in others schools.

New activities with new primary students

In order to help make the leap between Primary and Secondary Education a smooth transition, IREC participates in the Escolab program, to grow and get closer to the students of the last year of Primary Education. In this new project, IREC opens its doors of the state-of-the-art laboratories and offers to the students an opportunity to learning about energy research with investigators working on the advancement of renewable energy and the society.

The project started in October 2021, as part of the Connectem recerca i aula training course, which brought research centers -communicators and researchers- into contact with schools of Barcelona. With the aim to connect research centers and the schools, to integrate a scientific outing into the classroom, to give continuity to the center of interest started in the classroom, to encourage student participation and make the EscoLab activity more interactive.

IREC designs, in collaboration with the teachers and students of the Escola del Mar (Barcelona), different the activities, workshops and tours that reveal the immense diversity of laboratories operating today and that offer the chance of direct contact with their multidisciplinary teams and lines of research. The students will gain first-hand experience of their research and enrich the contents of your classroom studies by linking curriculum and the latest scientific developments. 

This course includes primary school teachers from the Escola del Mar (Barcelona) who works together with the researcher Lucia Igualada from the Energy Systems Analytics group, which deals with the topic of energy consumption, and the Prof. ICREA Andreu Cabot, leader of the Functional Materials group, that approaches the energy generation and storage, and with the collaboration of the corporate communication manager, Elisabeth Chulilla, from IREC, with the aim to carry out an educational project to connect science and education that will be replicated in others schools, and will get results at the end of the current scholar year.

Virtual resources

Escolab is also growing in terms of resources to offer schools. For this reason, a collection of videos about different research centers has been produced:

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These are videos for teachers, useful before and after their visits to research centers, with which they can complement the existing teaching material in Escolab. The videos are available on a YouTube channel, and it also can be used on the Escolab website, the Barcelona Ciència i Universitats website or the research centers themselves.

These are short videos, about 5 minutes long, with a bit of humour to catch the attention of viewers, especially aimed at teenagers and young people, using images and language close to them. 

Gallery of Energy topic of EscoLab – Connectem Recerca i Aula project from IREC and Escola del Mar:

For more information, visit the EscoLab website