PARTICIPATION IN A "SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE" AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN A GROUP OF STUDENTS OF PHARMACY

A “Scientific Conference” simulation was performed on the course “Analytical Chemistry II” during 2nd year of the Degree of Pharmacy. Seventy-seven students (out of 85 enrolled) initially participated in the activity. Eighteen working groups were formed and the abstract of 15 groups (71 students) were accepted. Papers were grouped into 3 main different blocks to be presented as a poster communication:
- Block 1) Determination of ions by different instrumental techniques (20 students, 4 posters);
- Block 2) Determination of molecules by different instrumental techniques (23 students; 5 posters) and
- Block 3) High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (28 students, 6 posters).

Students who participated in the activity reached a higher average final mark in the course than those who did not participate, being the final mark for the former group "approved" versus "failed" in the second group (5.07±1.70 vs. 2.11±1.32, p<0.001). There were no differences between blocks regarding average mark (5.9±1.3, 4.8±1.9 and 5.0±1.8, respectively), but there were more students who passed the course in Block 1 comparing with Blocks 2 and 3 (85% vs. 47.6 and 46.2%, respectively; p<0.05). This work highlights the usefulness of the proposed activity, especially in the topic about the determination of ions in samples with different instrumental techniques.