The Stem Cell Day 2017 – University of Copenhagen

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20 March 2017

The Stem Cell Day 2017

Outreach and Public Engagement

For the third time this year DanStem followed the tradition and held a Stem Cell Day where scientists devote a full day to outreach and dissemination of stem cell research. For this event a group of researchers planned hands-on and fun educational activities to make all possible efforts to create a unique experience: an event to remember.

This year it was not only a trip to the fabulous Mærsk Tower, but a full curriculum which started a few months prior to the event and concluded on March 16, 2017 with The Stem Cell Day.

The group in focus was the students of the Danish Jewish school, Carolineskolen. A small, well-guarded school, with motivated teachers and a mix of seventh and ninth graders, who were curios and full of energy.

The junior scientists, PhD students and postdocs, planned a study curriculum appropriate for the age group, including a syllabus of two class room visits, taught by scientists from DanStem, some reading material and homework in preparation for the visit itself. 

The 20 students arrived to the Mærsk tower at 09:00 and started with an Introduction to Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, followed by a hands-on session using chicken and zebrafish embryos get insights into research in developmental biology. The next activity session featured two exciting team games “Start as a Stem Cell!” and “Where are my stem cells?” and was followed by a debate session dedicated to stem cell research and ethics. 

The Stem Cell Day ended in the afternoon with a tour of the center and a presentation session where three your scientists told their personal story of why they chose the path of science as a career.

“It is not just the science which made the day so awesome; it’s talking to real scientists and visiting such big and impressive labs that were so great. ”said a young student. “I would absolutely want to visit again and learned a lot about cells”, he added.

“The coordination and preparation for the stem cell day is a big effort for our center. At the same time it is very rewarding for all our enthusiastic young scientists to get involved with school children.” said Simone Wenkel, outreach coordinator at DanStem.

DanStem participants: Michaela Rothovà, Mette Jørgensen, Marta Perera, Charlotte Bailey, Ilcim Özlu, Svend Dahl-Jensen, Alba Riveiro, Jonas van Cuyl Kuylenstierna, Xiaogang Guo, Robert Bone, Pedro Reis Rifes, Molly Lowndes, Simone Wenkel

The UniStem Project:

The Stem Cell Day is part of UniStem, an intiative that started in Italy and now is conducted by over 70 Universities and Research Institutes in 7 European Countries who are simultaneously engaging more than 27.000 students in a stem cell day. The school children are the protagonists of a day entirely dedicated to science with seminars, discussions, and laboratories activities. Denmark, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Serbia and Sweden are on board for UniStem Day, thus recognizing the importance of science outreach for school students.