University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 155-162
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0065
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The Castile y Leon region (Spain) offers a two-year high-school excellence program for highly motivated students, in which the University of Valladolid (Spain) is involved. During the first year, the students visit the University of Valladolid's research facilities, as well as attend specialized talks on the areas of knowledge of their interest. Then, in the second year, they have the opportunity to develop a scientific project under the supervision of one high-school and one university professor. These projects are intended to provide a unique first contact with actual research activities for these students, being usually focused on specific research fields.

The Archaeological and Historial Materials (AHMAT) Research Group of the University of Valladolid has recently developed a new scientific project for this high-school excellence program, entitled “Studying ancient history and cultural heritage throughout materials science”. This is the first project introducing the archaeometry field of study on this high-school excellence program and, as correspond to this subject, provides multidisciplinary training to these young students.

In this project, the students learn how to use and provide a basic interpretation of the results of useful experimental techniques on archaeometry such as Raman and infrared spectroscopies, optical microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Also, they learn about the evolution of construction materials throughout history, the diverse natural pigments employed by some of the greatest painters of all times, the preservation of our monuments, and the lessons that the archaeological findings could provide about the past of their region. In all the cases, the basic concepts are reinforced by allowing the students to reach their own answers about proposed case studies by performing experimental analysis of a selection of cultural heritage samples.

Herein, the design and development of this scientific project for the high-school excellence program are described, with a particular emphasis on identifying the teaching opportunities of materials science concepts, the promotion of the cultural heritage awareness and the development of scientific vocations. Finally, the efficiency and success of this project are evaluated, taking this feedback about its implementation into account to propose further improvements.
Archaeometry, scientific vocations, Raman spectroscopy.