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Pupils from six different countries to visit the biotechnology lab

Published on 15. Januar 2016, 09:19 h
A new biotechnology project will be kicking off this week when an international group of pupils comes to Bielefeld University to learn and engage in research together. Six schools from six different European countries are participating in the project labelled ‘Biotechnology in our life’. Bielefeld University’s teutolab-biotechnologie is coordinating the project with a 260,000 Euro grant from the European Union over the next three years. Twenty-four pupils will spend one full year working together in international teams. They will engage in research, get to know different companies, and discuss ethical issues in biotechnology. The goal of the Erasmus project is to forge links between schools, industry, science, and politics. The young researchers are 16 to 18 years old and have been specially selected by their teachers.

‘What makes this international cooperation so exciting is that different societies view this topic in such different ways,’ explains Dr. Maren Panhorst from the teutolab-biotechnologie. ‘In Germany, for example, genetically modified products are often approved of in pharmaceutics or medicine, but many people do not want to have them in foodstuffs.’ Biotechnological methods are being applied in numerous fields ranging from brewing beer to sewage treatment. The pupils will attend lectures and visit companies together. They will get to know the background to biotechnology and the methods it applies along with the chances and the risks involved. They will then be in a position to form their own opinions.

After spending a week in Bielefeld, the pupils will see each other regularly over the year and work together in international teams. They will meet up at different partner schools – for example in Verona in Italy or in Haarlem in the Netherlands. The young researchers will be networked with each other so that they can compare their progress and prepare the results of their work for presentation in a final exhibition.

Teutolabs are ‘join-in-and-experiment’ labs at Bielefeld University. They were set up in 1999 with the idea of introducing pupils to the natural sciences through play. This idea from Bielefeld has now even spread as far as China. Alongside the teutolab-biotechnologie, there are further teutolabs in robotics, mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

Coordinator:
teutolab-biotechnologie, Bielefeld University

Partner schools:
Öffentlich-stiftisches Gymnasium Bethel, Bielefeld, Germany
Koidula Gymnasium, Pärnu, Estonia
St. Neots Learning Partnership, St. Neots, England
Coornhert Lyceum, Haarlem, Netherlands
Ies Jose de Ribera, Xativa, Spain
Liceo Galilei, Verona, Italy

Posted by NFrei in General
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