By Leonoor Van Kersbergen
Last summer, I was fortunate to be a participant in the Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC). For two weeks, I traveled to the beautiful and lively city of Barcelona to work on a project called Artificial Photosynthesis. My project was one out of 10 projects related to either chemistry, physics or biology. I got to work with 9 other students (age 16-18) and two professional researchers, Dr. Laia Pellejà of the Chemical Research Centre of Catalonia (ICIQ) and Lluís Lanzetta, a PhD student at Imperial College London.
The two weeks taught me everything from new lab techniques to effectively presenting research.
At first, I must admit, I did not get very excited about the idea of science in my holidays. I have an interest in science, though when it comes to the decision of science vs holidays, my preference goes to the latter. However, when I arrived in Barcelona, my opinion soon changed. I realized that most people there were just like me, making what was to come a lot more promising.
Apart from working on the tremendously interesting concept of Artificial Photosynthesis, during the program, we have had enlightening discussions during "STEM dinners" at which a speaker came and started a discussion on a topic (e.g. the ethics within genetic manipulation). I also got to attend multiple workshops on topics like "science and communication", “data science” and "science and economy", which taught me that there is so much more to science than numbers and measuring cylinders.
In short, BIYSC has been an amazing experience, which allowed me to meet the most amazing people. If you are of age 16 to 18, and have a keen interest in sciences, I wholeheartedly recommend this program to you. For any additional information about the program, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or approach Mrs. Newbery ( email@example.com ).
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