Information, awareness, and action: through a robust engagement strategy based on these 3 pillars, our aim is to inform a wider audience about the various aspects surrounding marine microplastic accumulation, on a spectrum encompassing both local and international initiatives. P(L)AST – the Ocean Cleaner of the Future – is much more than just a scientific project; as such, we have been continuously nourishing and expanding our network, allowing our voice to reach an ever-growing audience.
Community Event: "Conversas com Investigadores"
With the purpose of reaching out to the average population, a handful of members, including the secondary PI of our team, participated in an investigators/community event (2021 European Researchers' Night), where she exposed our iGEM project to high school students, what it consists of, what are our perspectives, as well as presenting all the work we had been doing throughout the year. Hopefully, our iGEM team can add up some high school students next year.
Educating the Younger Generations
On the 15th of October, three members of the iGEM NOVA_LxPortugal Team conducted, on the São Martinho do Porto Elementary School, a sensibilization activity on the issue of microplastics and the excessive use of plastics.
This activity’s main objective was to inform the young students of the microplastics’ issue and the excessive use of plastics through demonstration and explanation of possible solutions for these problems, thus promoting the interest of the students and developing a critical and creative spirit.
A simple and short presentation was made followed by demonstrations to illustrate concepts like bioaccumulation or to show how one can modulate the density of an aqueous solution, using salts, to promote the separation of different substances (like rocks and eggs).
Take a look at the pictures taken at this activity below.
As a follow up task, we encouraged the young students to produce art pieces related to the topic of our activity, and this is what they made.