Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dia de la ciencia a les escoles 2013

At the end of November I went to Figueres, to the Servei Educatiu de l'Alt Empordà, because of the annual visit to high-schools by scientists within the context of the Science Week. As usual, I gave a seminar based on my TEDxUdG talk "I'm a Chemist.....", slightly adapted (enlarged) for these purposes.

This year the room was packed!! Instead of the expected 60, somewhere between 80 and 90 boys and girls (aged 15-16) turned up.
An eager audience before my talk "I'm a Chemist....."
And they kept me well entertained as well, because after my talk and short exhibition of what it is to be a computational chemist (using a live demonstration of running quantum chemistry on molecules), I also had two pupils giving a go at it. (and while we waited for the geometry optimization to end, they helped distribute chocolate bars between all of them)

Afterwards, they kept me busy for some 30-40 minutes with questions, which ranged from: "Can you afford to make a living with this?" (Yes), "Is this not simply based on physics?" (No and Yes), to "Can you give an example where computational chemistry has been used in a really important study?" (Yes, see this paper in Science). (in parentheses, the short answers, of course during the discussion I elaborated much more on it)

Afterwards, the different classes wanted to have their photo-op with me, as can be seen here, here and at some of the photos posted here. It was fun to be there!

PS. Last year's visit to Vilablareix led to an interview by some of the pupils.
PS.2. Here is my entry to 2012's #ChemCoach Carnival about what I do as ICREA Research Professor on a regular day.

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