Universidad Pública de Navarra (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 71-75
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0022
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
In order to promote research careers in Europe and their role in society, the European Researchers' Night was held in 370 European cities in November 2020. This event was funded by the European Commission as part of the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The main purpose of this initiative is to promote scientific careers in Europe by bringing the figure of researchers closer to the general public, raising awareness of their work and showcase the benefits that research brings to society, as well as promoting the choice of scientific careers among students and eliminating gender barriers.

In the framework of these activities, the universities that make up the G-9 group joined the initiative with a programme that included more than 100 activities in 12 different cities, offering a varied programme of workshops, demonstrations, games and competitions within the framework of project 954912-S-TEAM- H2020-MSCA-NIGHT-2020.

Among the activities carried out by the Public University of Navarra, a virtual science fair was organised. This activity consisted of a Virtual Escape Room in which the participants, by watching short videos on different topics, had to answer several questions related to the video contents in order to complete the puzzles and receive a prize. These videos presented in an informative way the research actions carried out by different groups at the university and the application of the obtained results in today's society.

The video “Measuring with Light” was one of the videos presented as part of the Virtual Escape Room. This video presented some of the work being done by the Optical Communications research group in the past few years for the monitoring of different civil structures using photonic sensors. After a very brief explanations of how light works, the video showed the operating principle of fibre Bragg gratings and their application as optical sensors for monitoring different physical parameters such as vibration or temperature. As real-world examples, their usage in several civil applications such as traffic monitoring or stress measurement in wind turbines was illustrated. The video obtained more than 500 visualizations during the activity and, after the completion, it was proposed as a candidate for the fourth edition of the “Photon Awards”. This prize is organised by the Institute of Optics “Daza de Valdés” of the Spanish National Research Council in collaboration with the Spanish Society of Optics (SEDOPTICA) and its aim is to promote and recognise the work of communication, dissemination, and public awareness of the scientific, technological and social impact of research in the field of optics and photonics.

In awarding the prize, the jury pays particular attention to the fact that this work must be innovative and entertaining in form, as well as comprehensible and rigorous in content. They also aim to promote and encourage the teaching of science and research, in particular optics and photonics, to primary and secondary school students. The video “Measuring with Light” was awarded the first prize in the category “Emitted Photon”. The jury, in its decision, valued the informative quality of the audio-visual work, highlighting that it “conveys sensor technologies in smart cities in an entertaining and scientifically rigorous way”. It also highlighted its aesthetic qualities and its expository form and emphasised “its capacity to reach a wide audience through the Researchers' Night initiative”.
Technology enhanced learning, motivation, engaging students in research, keeping students engaged.