DOCENDO DISCIMUS: HOW TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND MOTIVATE UNDERGRADUATE LIFE-SCIENCE STUDENTS UNDER THE MOTTO “SHARING ELECTROPHORESIS: TOWARDS NEW HORIZONS”
R. del Gaudio
University Federico II of Naples, Department of Biology (ITALY)
After the huge success of the XXIX and XXX Edition of Futuro Remoto with over 230,000 visitors present in the Science Village in Plebiscito Square in the city of Naples (Italy) with over 500 Research Centers, University Departments, Associations and Business Companies presenting their Scientific and Technological Research projects and their innovative results, a new edition was organized in 2017.
Continuing the tradition of my project previously reported (2016) focused on the PCR and its modern applications I decided to train and instruct a new Docendo Discimus team by selecting Biology students of Federico II University of Naples. With the motto "Sharing electrophoresis: towards new horizons", fifteen new members were selected, added to the Docendo Discimus team, and trained for the science popularization activities here reported.
The XXXI Edition of Futuro REMOTO- with the theme "Connections"- was a four day event held in Naples from 25th to 28th of May, 2017 in the Plebiscito Square. Communication and knowledge sharing were at the heart of this event dedicated to Science, innovation and to their relationship with society providing a unique framework for interaction and debate between scientists from University and research Centers, business people, policy makers, scientific communicators, graduate, undergraduate students and all age public, an additional anchor of a knowledge based society.
The main objective of Docendo Discimus Team in 2017, was to propose the interactive activities to be carried out during the event in order to communicate and disseminate to the audience about milestones, history, evolution of methods and applications (from protein analyses to DNA sequencing) of the electrophoresis technique daily applied in all research, diagnostics and forensics laboratories.
Simultaneously teaching, training, coaching and learning activities have led to the preparation of eight scientific posters written both in Italian and English. Electrophoresis has also been "illustrated" with memory games (Including table games), a new type of crossword puzzle games, suitable for every age players, in which each definition is replaced by an image integrated with practical activities based on direct application of the technique, and also with models/ demonstration games of several sieves that have been used by the visitors to separate different types of macromolecules, as well as DNA or proteins and more!
This project (PBL) has been also an opportunity to improve writing a scientific text with the goal to "divulge", to expose with clarity and passion- in a multi-disciplinary approach aimed at people of all ages who are curious or not about science and innovation- different aspects and applications of electrophoresis technique, a separation method in which charged molecules migrates under the influence of an electric field at various rates, depending upon their charge-mass ratios.
All team members had to deepen known the scientific theme with readings from scientific literature learning to do bibliographic research. The training has been thought to learn to discipline in the choice of words, in the use of scientific language, this exercise is usually "experimented" for the first time during the thesis drafting.
The is an example of a multidisciplinary Integrated Problem Based Learning to improve soft skills and High-order-thinking (HOT) of vocational students and of links beetween education and research.