"THIS SMELLS OF SCIENCE", DISCOVERING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD BY THE WAY OF THE ESSENTIAL OILS AND AROMATIC PLANTS IN THE CLASSROOM
1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2 ColArte en Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:By the hand of the essential oils and the aromatics plants as a guiding thread, and with the aim of familiarizing students with the practice of scientific research and sustainability of natural resources, the educational project: "THIS SMELLS OF SCIENCE" has been developed by professors and scientifics from two public universities, as a introductory program for the dissemination of the forest engineering and experimental sciences among students in the primary and secondary education level in the region of Madrid (Spain) during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic periods. The project has aimed to bring students to the world of science in an active, playful and didactic way. "This smells of science" has sought to awaken new scientific vocations among the youngest ones. For this purpose, numerous activities adapted to each educational level have been planned, since the three-years students, at early educational school system, until the Baccalaureate. At differents levels, the students have learnt the methods and contents of a scientific investigation.The methodology is based on the research carried out by the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Technical Chemistry of the National University of Distance Education (UNED) and the Department of Forest Engineering and Environmental Management of the School of Forestry Engineers of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), and didactically supported by "ColArte en Madrid" association, an NGO specialized in the dissemination of arts and sciences among children and teenagers. Therefore, the approaching to the activities proposed in the project has followed the lead idea of "becoming in a scientific game in the world of smells and sustainability", full of playful, but always with scientific rigor. At these ages, children are very open to new experiences. The project has tried to discover the hidden scientist inside each student by promoting hypothesis about the objects that they see, touch or smell in the classroom.
Students (3 to 17-years old) from each educational stage: Pre-school, Primary, and Secondary (Compulsory Secondary, Baccalaureate or Specific Professional Formation) joined the program. The workshops started in September, 2017 at different schools in Madrid. 2,014 and 783 students participated during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic periods respectively, accounting 2,797 students throughout the two academic years. 94 and 30 workshops were developed during 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. The 124 workshops throughout the two academic years were part of the project: "This smells of Science" (FCT-16-10963). 94 out of 124 activities were partially financed by 2016 FECYT call in 2017-18. A call for funds for the promotion of the scientific, technological and innovation culture that have been supported by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness in 2017-18. The 30 additional activities were supported by the "Prize for dissemination", that the project won in the 2nd Edition of UNED-Santander Awards for Research, Transfer and Dissemination in 2018. Therefore, as a consequence of the UNED-SANTANDER prize and the FECYT 2016 call, a total number of 426 students were invited, free of charge, during the workshops and activities, both in public schools, as in private or subsidized schools, but giving priority to low-income neighborhoods, which concentrate the population at the most vulnerable risk in Madrid.
Keywords: MAPs, Botany, Medicinal Plants, Aromatic Plants, Learning, Research, Sustainability, Pre-school, Primary, and Secondary school.