Since I was an undergraduate student that I have participated in science communication activities. However, it was during my master’s that I started taking part on the sessions of ‘Ciência p’ra que te quero’, organized by the project Scientia.com.pt, led by three university lectures from the School of Science, University of Minho – Portugal. This project aims to explain basic and general science related topics to children between 6 and 10 years of age, with dynamic and hands-on activities monthly in a public library in Braga – Portugal.
The session started with a short presentation on the topic and discussion with the kids. This monthly topic is comprised in a more general annual theme which this year is “2019 – International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements”.
Last March the session was entitled as ‘The chemistry of Water’ and the presentation I prepared had as main topic the structure of the molecule of water and its bonds, as well as the location of those elements in the periodic table. Moreover, the proportions of water on hearth in its different states and in living organisms and last but not least, sustainability and importance of water in different fields and applications, were also presented. The hands-on activities which followed addressed topics such as the density, solubility and other properties of water which could be observed with simple experiments, as for example the observation of the change of water state with different temperatures or the migration of liquids with different densities, as well as a dynamic quiz.
Lastly, all participants (children and volunteers) filled a short survey which aims to improve this project every month and make this project more relevant and important, as a tool to make more generations aware of science and its importance.
I have to thank once again the opportunity given to me to collaborate in this session. It is always a pleasure to see all the engagement of the people partaking in this project to organise a better and more interactive session every time, and also to see the increasing interest of children and their parents. Furthermore, it is interesting to see the integration of undergraduate students as volunteers during these activities, where they can use their creativity and knowledge to participate actively in these science communication sessions.