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Erasmus+ Project "Biotechnology in our lives"

Kurzzusammenfassung (deutsch)
Summary (german)

Von Sommer 2015 bis Sommer 2018 richtete das Schülerlaborteutolab-biotechnologie ein internationales Projekt mit Schülerinnen und Schülern und Lehrerinnen und Lehrern aus Deutschland, den Niederlanden, England, Italien, Spanien und Estland aus.

In diesen drei Projektjahren arbeiteten und forschten internationale Schülergruppen je ein Schuljahr lang zum Thema Biotechnologie.

Das Projekt wurde von der Europäischen Union mit einer Projektlaufzeit von drei Jahren mit etwa 260.000 € gefördert.

Im Folgenden möchten wir ausführlich über dieses Projekt informieren (englisch).

 

From summer 2015 to summer 2018, the teutolab-biotechnologie student laboratory organized an international project with students and teachers from Germany, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Spain and Estonia.

 

 

In each of these three project years, international school groups worked and conducted research on biotechnology for one school year.






The project was funded by the European Union for three years with approximately 260,000 €.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is the project team?

The project was coordinated by the student laboratory teutolab-biotechnology of the University of Bielefeld. Together with representatives of the following partner schools (linked to homepages), work has been carried out in the three project years:

 

Öffentlich-stiftisches Gymnasium Bethel, GER

Coornhert Lyceum Haarlem, NLD

Liceo Scientifico Statale Galileo Verona (ITA)

Koidula Gymnasium Pärnu, EST

IES Jose de Ribera Xativa, ESP

St. Neots Learning Partnership GBR

 

 

What is biotechnology

In biotechnology, living organisms (or parts thereof) are used for technical applications. These applications have a long tradition (producing beer, wine, cheese ...), a high everyday relevance (wastewater treatment, production of medicines, chemicals, enzymes, new plant varieties, diagnostic procedures ...) as well as a high potential for future challenges to our society (bioplastics , biofuels, biomedicine ...).

The following information sheet explains the everyday relevance of biotechnology and describes the fields in which the students worked:
 

 

What are the goals of this project?

The research laboratory teutolab-biotechnology, which is affiliated to the University of Bielefeld, has found that, compared to the relevance of biotechnology, the knowledge about the importance of biotechnology is low both among high school students and in society. The project aims to provide the participants with profound knowledge in the field of biotechnology. At the same time, an important goal of this project is to encourage students to constructive, critical and scientific thinking and to empower them to present and represent their opinions in public. So that not only the project participants profit from the knowledge of the international work, every year of the project is concluded with a public exhibition in which the pupils present the results of their work.

The following elaboration describes in detail the goals of this project:

 

 

 What are the contents of a project year?

 

 

During three project weeks per school year, the students met (each in a different country), worked and discussed together, attended expert lectures, conducted joint workshops and experiments and visited biotech companies.

At the public exhibition, which closes every project year, a discussion forum with representatives from politics and business took place in which the opportunities and challenges of biotechnology were discussed.

 The following document describes and visualizes the exact course of the project:

 

 

Didactic concept of this project

The didactic method used in this project was developed by the project team itself. It is an international group puzzle with national core groups and international expert groups.

This method, in which individual and cooperative learning are closely interlinked, is particularly suitable for heterogeneous groups and is characterised by an enormous development of not only professional but especially social competences by the learners.

What exactly lies behind the international group puzzle and how the project worked according to this methodology is described in the following document:

 

 

Project year 2015/2016

 

In the first year of the project, the 24 participating students and 12 accompanying teachers met for project meetings in Bielefeld (Germany), Verona (Italy) and Haarlem (Netherlands).

 

 

 

 

 

Bielefeld meeting from 16.01.2016 to 21.01.2016

 

The project kick-off took place at the Centre for Biotechnology in Bielefeld. In addition to the work in the international groups, expert lectures were attended (Professor Walter Arnold: Biotechnology in our Life; Professor Bernd Weißhaar: Molecular Plant Breeding; Professor Christian Kaltschmidt: Stem Cell Biotechnology; Dr. Keller: EU-Regulations Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms; Professor Jörn Kalinowski: DNA sequencing), biotechnological companies (Potts Brewery in Oelde, Centre for Biotechnology in Bielefeld) were visited and works in the laboratory were pereformed (student laboratory teutolab-biotechnology: virus diagnostics).

 

The host pupils of the Öffentlich-Stiftisches Gymnasium Bethel wrote a report describing this project week from the pupils' side:

 

 

 

Verona meeting from 12.03.2016 to 17.03.2016

The second project meeting of the first project year took place in Verona, Italy. The pupils continued their preparatory work and worked on their research topics in international groups. The project group visited lectures held by experts (PHD students: Bioenergy from Plants, Professor Giovanni Malerba: Genomics and Proteomics; Professor Roberto Bassi: Genetics of Coffe Sensory), visited biotechnological companies (Cantina Valpolicella winery in Negrar, Unione Italiana Vini wine diagnostics and sensory laboratory in Verona) and worked in the laboratory (University of Trento: bacterial transformation).

The hosting students of the Liceo Galilei wrote a report describing this project week from the students' side:


Haarlem meeting from 17.05.2016 to 22.05.2016

The third project meeting of the first project year took place in Haarlem, Netherlands. Here the young people finished their work and prepared for the final presentation. Professor Adam Cohen from the Center for Human Drug Research CHDR visited the host school and gave a lecture on "Clinical Studies in Human Drug Research". During the visit to the Micropia Museum in Amsterdam (the world's first zoo for microorganisms), the project participants were introduced to the importance of invisible organisms. The Tylers Museum in Haarlem showed the students and the accompanying teachers the history of nature and technology. The mobile lab of the University of Delft visited the host school to experiment together with the students (course: Toilet Paper Race with Yeast. The exhibition concluding the project year took place on Sunday, 22 March 2016 at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem. A Green politician and an employee of a biotechnology company were invited to the panel discussion.

 

The host students of the Coornhert Lyceum wrote a report describing this project week from the students' side:
 

 

 

Project year 2016/2017

In the second project year, the 24 participating pupils and the 12 accompanying teachers met for project meetings in Bielefeld (Germany), St. Neots (England) and Xativa (Spain).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bielefeld meeting from 01.10.2016 to 06.10.2016

The kick-off of the second project year took place at the Centre for Biotechnology in Bielefeld. In addition to the work in the international groups, expert lectures were attended (Professor Walter Arnold: Biotechnology in our Life; German project group: Basics on Molecular Biology and Gene Technology; Dr. Jan Mußgnug: Biotechnology with Microalgae; Professor Frank Gudermann: Fermentation Technology), biotechnological companies were visited (Science Center of Evonik Industries in Marl, Chemical Park in Marl, Center for Biotechnology in Bielefeld) and work in the laboratory was performed (student laboratory teutolab-biotechnology: food analysis).

The host pupils of the Öffentlich-Stiftisches Gymnasium Bethel wrote a report describing this project week from the pupils' side:

 

 

St. Neots meeting from 04.02.2017 to 09.02.2017

The second project meeting of the second project year took place in St. Neots, England. The core activity was the work in the international teams. On one day, the project group visited the college city of Cambridge - the town of James Watson's and Francis Crick's structural elucidation of DNA. After a scientific city tour the university in Cambridge was visited. Doctoral students presented their results on cancer research. The Amgen Biotech Experience educational institution visited the host school to give a lecture on medical biotechnology and to work with students on personalized medicine in the laboratory. Another section dealt with the topic of water. There was an environmental analysis workshop at the host school and a visit to the Anglian Water sewage treatment plant in Leighton Linslade.

The host students of the St. Neots Learning Partnership wrote a report describing this project week from the students' side:

 

 

Xativa meeting from 25.03.2017 to 30.03.2017

The final project meeting of the second project year took place in Xativa, Spain. The pupils finished their work and prepared the presentation for the final exhibition. Dr. Ana Ruiz and Dr. Antonio Olmos visited the host school and conducted a bioinformatics workshop with the project participants on the topic of Bioinformatic Analyses of Plant Virusses. The project group spent one day in Valencia, where they visited LifeSequencing, the leading company for genome analysis and DNA sequencing. There, the participants first received a company presentation and then a laboratory tour. During the visit to the University of Valencia, a lecture by Professor Joan Ferre on the subject of transgenic plants was embedded. The students also experimented with DNA extraction in Valencia and visited the Oceanographic Marine Zoo and the City of Arts and Sciences Natural History Museum. The exhibition concluding the project year took place on 30.03.2017 in the "Casa di Cultura" in Xativa. For the panel discussion, the researcher Professor Jose Miguel Mulet made himself available.

The host students of the IES Jose de Ribera wrote a report describing this project week from the students' side:

 

 

Project year 2017/2018


In the third year of the project, the 24 participating pupils met with the accompanying teachers for project meetings in Bielefeld (Germany), Haarlem (Netherlands) and Pärnu (Estonia).

 

 

 

Bielefeld meeting from 08.10.2017 to 12.10.2017

The kick-off of the third project year took place at the Centre for Biotechnology in Bielefeld. In addition to the work in the international groups, expert lectures were attended (Professor Walter Arnold: Biotechnology in our life; Professor Anant Patel: Biotechnological aspects of biological pest control), biotechnological companies were visited (research and development site of the biotechnological company Evonik Industries in Halle, Künsebeck, cell culture laboratories at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences) and lab work was conducted (student laboratory teutolab-biotechnology: molecular genetic identification of orchids).

The host pupils of the Öffentlich-Stiftisches Gymnasium Bethel wrote a report describing this project week from the pupils' side:

 

 

 

Haarlem meeting from 04.02.2018 to 08.02.2018

The second project meeting of the second project year took place in Haarlem, Netherlands. The core activity was the work in the international teams. For one day, the project group visited the Leiden Bio Science Park, listened to four lectures (Ellen Smit: Biotechnology in the Netherlands, Bob Rondan: Organ-on-a-chip Technology; Wouter Bruins: Genotyping of Chicken Eggs; Adam Cohan: Human Drug Research) and visited the Center for Human Drug Research CHDR, where clinical trials are conducted. Another project day was held in Amsterdam, where the bioplastics-producing company Avantium and then the NEMO Natural Science Museum were visited. Dr. Martijn van Galen from the University of Groningen visited the host school and gave a lecture on CRISPR/CAS. The pupils also made bioplastics themselves from potatoes (starch plastic).

The host students of the Coornhert Lyceum wrote a report describing this project week from the students' side:

 

 

 

Pärnu meeting from 11.03.2018 to 15.03.2017

The final project meeting of the third project year took place in Pärnu, Estonia. As an introduction to the project week, Riin Tamm from the University of Tartu visited the host school and gave a lecture on the biotechnology landscape in Estonia. In addition, the students spent a lot of time with their international expert groups to complete the final presentations for the exhibition. During this project week, the project group travelled to the university city of Tartu for two days. Among others, the participants visited the biotechnological company Icosagen and the Natural Science Museum AHHAA. In addition, a number of events took place at the university: Guided tour of the university, visit to the gene bank, experimentation on the subject of genetic fingerprints, visit to expert lectures (Professor Anres Salumtes: in vitro fertilisation; Professor Ants Kurg: Genetic Fingerprint). The final exhibition took place on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at the Pernova Nature House in Pärnu.

The host students of the Koidula Gymnasium wrote a report describing this project week from the students' side:

 

 

 

 

Exhibition Materials


Each project year ended with an exhibition organized and carried out by the pupils themselves. At these exhibitions, the pupils presented exhibits that suited their research topic, presented their findings to the public in a PowerPoint presentation and presented their project posters in a poster session. In addition, the pupils wrote an article on their research topics, which was part of the project brochure.

 

The posters and brochures developed by the students in this project are available for download below:

 

Project Posters

 

Project Brochures

 

 

Results of the evaluation


The quality and impact of the project were assessed by means of a questionnaire evaluation. This questionnaire study was developed and evaluated by staff of the Department of Biology Didactics at Bielefeld University. The survey contained both a qualitative and a quantitative part and took place at the beginning of each project year, after the kick-off week of each project year and after the end of each project year.

For further information, please download the evaluation reports:

 

 

 

Press reactions from home and abroad:

uni.aktuell_2016_01_16_deutsch

uni.news_2016_01_16_englisch

WestfalenblattNr17_deutsch

CeBiTec_Quarterly_Spring_2016_englisch

Facebook_Uni-Bielefeld_Jan_2016_englisch

Pärnu postimees 2017_03_31_estisch

Levante emv 2017_04_01_spanisch

 


 


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