Universidad de Cádiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4078-4087
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Many organisations, both scientific and educational, are making at present notable efforts to minimize waste generated as a result of different activities including laboratory works. Emphasis is placed on preventing pollution rather than controlling it. The cost of waste disposal has a tendency to rise and we cannot avoid that, but the amount of waste generated usually continues to increase and it can be reduced. On another front, universities are involved in the integral training of future scientists so that they adopt routine working habits aimed at minimizing wastes and managing them correctly. This is necessary because they are an important part of the institutions, and also having in mind their integration into the workforce.

In the University of Cadiz, the degree in Criminology and Security Studies is more oriented toward laws than in other universities. Only two courses include proper laboratory practices in their subject: Legal Medicine and Toxicology, and Criminalistics. However, one possible career opportunity for these future graduates is the laboratory and in fact, students are very interested in this potential.

In addition to the specific practical contents, teachers of those two subjects must give a basic training in laboratory work to undergraduates. Due to the orientation of their degree programme, most of them proceed from the Arts and Humanities option in the secondary school, so they do not have a background in sciences. The fundamental aspect of management, segregation and proper disposal of lab wastes must be included in the training, therefore students receive precise instructions. In the framework of an environmental education, we spread the culture of laboratory safety and stress the importance of waste reduction. Connections with daily life are suggested to the students. The environmental management system of our University and its certification to the standard ISO 14001 are briefly presented.

At the end of the periods of laboratory practicals in the academic year 2012-2013, students completed a questionnaire enquiring about their viewpoints and implication in the process of waste management. They seemed to feel involved with environmental protection and satisfied of having learned good environmental practices in the laboratory. Also, they were conscious that their level of training in theses issues is lower than in the case of other degrees. The development of the teaching experience and results of the survey are analysed in this work.
Environmental education, laboratory waste, Criminology students.