Departamento de Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio Natural. Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4400-4403
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Department of Sciences of Agrarian Medium Natural of the Universitat Jaume I, during the last years, has been carrying out a conference of practices aimed at secondary students from different high schools of Castellón. The main aim of this conference is motivate pupils to study an experimental degree, like Agricultural Technical Engineering. Moreover, the approach of the conference is totally practical because the students have the possibility to do, by themselves, some exercises in teaching laboratories and in greenhouses of the university, always under supervision of university professors.
On the last years, and due to the rise of demand for participation by the high schools, university has received about 270 students (15 students/school; 20 participating schools) belonging to several high schools, which have been divided in groups of, approximately, 30 pupils in order to be distributed in one of the three sessions used by teachers from Universitat Jaume I to accomplish the conference. That conference is repeated during three days in order to that 270 pupils could participate on it. The activities done during the conference are the followings:
- General explanation about Agricultural Technical Engineering. In a teaching classroom, teachers from Universitat Jaume I explain and present to the pupils who are participating in the conference, what are they going to learn in Agricultural Technical Engineering, their different job opportunities…
After that, students are divided in four groups. Students develop the practice in teaching laboratories, divided in groups of 20-25 pupils. They are provided with disposable lab globes and lab coats, for their own security and each group do one of these experiments:
- Microscopy. Teacher explains to the pupils the use of the optical microscope and different dye techniques and pupils observe different vegetal tissues.
- Photosynthesis. Pupils study the photosynthetic reduction of a coloured compound derived from indophenol, 2,6-diclorophenol-indophenol (2,6-DCPIP) by isolated cloroplastos of spinach leaves, with light of different wave-lengths.
- Artificial hybridizations in horticultural culture. Pupils acquire skills to know the usual technologies of artificial hybridization: manual castration, pollination and pocketed. They perceive the practical difficulties of these technologies, simultaneously that verify the efficiency of the method in species with different degrees of difficulty owed to the different floral morphology.
- In vitro culture. Pupils learn a procedure to regenerate plants genetically identical to the initial one. Pupils prepare plant culture medium and they acquire skills in the managing of plant material and culture in steril conditions.
The assessment by the teaching staff from the university who are participating on the conference, and the teaching staff from the high schools and the students, is very positive. The pupils achieve an important view of the laboratories and greenhouses at university, and it helps them, in some cases, to solve their doubts about choosing Agricultural Technical Engineering as an option for their studies in following years. Furthermore, note that the conference is used like an important way to close relations and collaborations between teaching staff from Universitat Jaume I and teaching staff from Secondary Education.