For a Human-Centered AI

“La bottega della scienza”: a special day

April 8, 2019

Citizens, researchers and schools come together to carry out a scientific research project

A beautiful participatory research day. On March 26, the laboratories of Fondazione Bruno Kessler opened their doors to a group of students and teachers from the “Maffei” High School in Riva del Garda, involved in the Alternating School with Work Program’s project “La bottega della scienza”. The goal of the project is to collect scientific research proposals from citizens, which are carried out (upon selection) by high school students under the supervision of researchers.

One of the selected proposals, assigned to the “Maffei” High School group, was put forward by a private citizen, Matteo Cattadori, and concerns the study of the environmental impact of 3D printers. To carry out the research, the students were supported by Roberto Canteri, physicist and researcher with Fondazione Bruno Kessler’s Micro Nano Facility, who hosted them in his laboratory to carry out a small experiment, after a short theory lesson. Goal: to detect the chemicals emitted by a “3D pen”, which has all the features of a real 3D printer. Mr Cattadori, the citizen who proposed the project, attended the activity. He wanted to greet the students, the teachers and the researcher. He also remained for the theoretical introduction part of the project. A symbolic moment, which brought together the three protagonists of the project: citizens, researchers and high school students. In short, “La bottega della scienza” has come true.

Now the students from the “Maffei” High School will have to analyze the collected data, studying, in particular, the concentrations and the possible toxicity of the substances emitted, and present the results obtained in a real scientific paper.

In addition to the project on 3D printers, this first edition of “La bottega della scienza” is working on three other projects, based on proposals received from the school students themselves. The first of these additional projects are being carried out by another class team of the “Maffei” High School that is conducting a survey on gender discrimination for high school students, under the supervision of Alessia Tuselli, a sociology researcher at the University of Trento. The second project involves students from the “Marconi” High School in Rovereto, which – with the help of FBK researchers Chiara Leonardi and Gianluca Schiavo – will produce a questionnaire (intended for students) on learning. Finally, a class team of the “Martini” High School of Mezzolombardo is working on a project that aims to study the riparian zones of the Noce river with a drone, under the supervision of MUSE researchers Valeria Lencioni and Christian Casarotto.

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