Science surprises: More than 1500 children interacted with CONICET scientists

The aim of the cycle of talks “Science, what do you have for me?” is to bring together students and scientists in an appealing and entertaining way.

During the talk at the El Círculo theatre in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe, students of secondary schools discovered how science is present in everyday life. The cycle is part of the Scientific Vocations Programme of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET).

The meeting “Science, what do you have for me?” was organized with the support of the CONICET, the National University of Rosario, the National Ministry of Education and the Centre for the Promotion of Knowledge Development of the Granadero Baigorria Municipality, province of Santa Fe. The renowned scientists from CONICET Diego Golombeck, Luis Cappozzo, Valeria Edelstein and Claudio Fernández participated in the talk.

Over 1500 students from Rosario and its surroundings learnt that Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics can be fun and entertaining, not only in terms of knowledge but also in everyday’s life. For this, researchers focused their talks in the relation between these disciplines and sports.

The opening was in charge of Diego Golombek, PhD in Biology, who used basketballs, tennis balls and table tennis rackets to explain how gravity affects both sports and the human body, by bouncing balls along the stage and the audience and demonstrating how the center of gravity displaces along with movements.

In turn Luis Cappozzo, marine biologist, taught how science can be applied to water sports and used diving, swimming and surf as an example. The researcher managed to make students perceive the ocean darkness and the song of whales. He also described how sportsmen imitate sperm whales to dive into water and use the hydrodynamic principles to optimize their performance.

Doping in sports was scientifically addressed by Valeria Edelstein, who holds a PhD in Chemistry. She explained how to improve body oxygenation without the need to use illegal drugs. Edelstein remarked the ethical dilemma that involves doping and in which way science also investigates people’s behaviors and how those statistics promote policies addressed to health and best practices.

Claudio Fernández, PhD in Biochemistry was in charge of the closing talk and focused on science in football. He made a scientific analysis of goal probabilities in penalties, training statistics to improve performance and studies on individual or group celebrations, and invited professional football players on stage, where he also played videos with goals and celebration bloopers. Fernandez highlighted that science, technology and football are closely related, for instance in the development of the 2006 Football World Cup match ball, where stitched seams were replaced by thermal bonding, thus creating seamless panels.

At the end of the event, the researchers agreed on the importance of continuing the promotion of Science communication activities that allow scientists and science to approach not only young people but also all the society. Participating schools received didactic material and books for their libraries in order to continue working upon the concept of science as a way to provide answers.

This activity was organized by the newspaper “La Capital de Rosario” and was sponsored by the Argentine Network of Science Communication, the El Círculo theatre and the Siglo XXI Publisher.