The main objective of this Project is to promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students are stimulated to learn how to think scientifically, by
developing scientific projects in a laboratorial environment, where they are guided throughout the different phases of the Scientific Method.
The way Science is described in schoolbooks offers quite often an unrealistic view of what Science is on a daily basis, given that the focus is on the finished product/the outcome and not on the process of how to get there. Scientists aren’t given experiments in the form of recipes. In fact, the starting point of a scientist is a question, which will be addressed through a set of experiments, which can often lead to an answer or result in an unpredictable outcome, opening a new set of questions.
This project also represents a driving force for a solid interaction between the and the School Community.
This project lasts 6 months and it is developed in collaboration with 2 high schools from Lisbon, involving a total of 12 students (6 students from each school).
The students are divided into groups of two and join one of three Labs created specifically for this project. Two mentors are assigned to each group of students.
While developing their projects in the labs, the students are guided through the different phases of the scientific process: the formulation of a question or hypothesis, the design of an experimental protocol, the execution of experiments, the analysis and discussion of experimental results, and finally, the presentation of their projects.
These projects are developed at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown (CCU), where the students have the unique opportunity to work in a lab environment where they can access the knowledge and experiences of other researchers in the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme (CNP). Throughout the project, there will be lab meetings between all groups, where the students participate in discussions not only about the development of the different projects but also the different aspects of being a scientist.
In the last month of the project, there is be a Scientific Meeting at the CCU, open to the students, teachers, and parents from both high schools, and to the researchers at the CNP. At this meeting, the students present their projects in a poster format, similar to a Poster Session in a scientific meeting.