The Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera develops the program "Bojos per la Ciència" to open the doors of the most relevant research institutes to the most excellent secondary school students. The ICMAB joined in 2017 the initiative "Bojos per la Física" coordinated by the ICN2, and the IFAE. This year the session had to be online, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and finally the 25 students could join researchers Ignasi Fina and Jordi Faraudo and Anna May, coordinating the event, on an online session during more than 4 hours on Saturday, 13 June 2020, in the morning.
The "Bojos per la Física" initiative allows 20-25 students to interact during 10 work sessions with researchers from ICN2, IFAE, UAB, ICMAB, ICFO and ALBA Synchrotron. Our shared objective is to design a challenging experience for the students and offer them some hints about what does being a researcher in physics mean.
In 2017, the ICMAB participated with a session with a lot of "energy", in which solar cells and batteries were the stars. The researchers in charge were Antonio Sánchez, from the NANOPTO group, and Roberta Verrelli, from the Solid State Chemistry group. In 2018, the topic of our session was piezoelectricity and magnetism, with Ferran Macià, Ignasi Fina and Marc Font from the MULFOX group (Laboratory of Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Structures).
Figure: Jordi Faraudo, Anna May Masnou and Ignasi Fina during the online session of "Bojos per la Física"
In 2019, like this year 2020, the session was focused on piezoelectric materials and on molecular simulation. Ignasi Fina, from the MULFOX group, and Jordi Faraudo, from the Softmatter Theory and Simulation group, were in charge of the 25 secondary school students from 1r BTX, who joined the online session on Saturday, 13 June 2020 from 9:30 am to 2 pm.
The session started with a brief introduction about the ICMAB and its research, by Anna May, Communication & Outreach Officer at ICMAB. Then, Ignasi Fina explained them the properties of piezoelectric materials, focusing on their practical applications on counting cars on the street or in a parking lot. Finally, Jordi Faraudo introduced them to molecular simulations showing as an example the Spike protein of the coronavirus. The students asked a lot of questions, regarding the new concepts they learnt, and also about career paths and science live.
Thank you to Ignasi Fina and Jordi Faraudo for participating in this initiative, to Anna May Masnou for coordinating the session, and thank you to all the students who joined us in this online session! We would also like to thank you Ana de la Osa and Àlex Argemí, from the ICN2, and Sebastián Grinschpun, from IFAE, for coordinating this initiative.