Elvas and Portalegre students fascinated with plants… and science

InnovPlantProtect promotes the 1st Meeting of Ciência Viva Clubs from Portalegre district Secndary Schools,during the week of Fascination of Plants Day 2022.

They arrived curious and expectant, and left feeling enriched and wanting more. Delighted with what they learned anew about plants and with the possibility of visiting InnovPlantProtect’s (InPP) labs, 50 students and teachers from Secondary Schools D. Sancho II de Elvas and Mouzinho da Silveira, in Portalegre, both in Portugal’s Alto Alentejo hinterland, say this kind of activity should be repeated, with more schools and for a whole day. InPP shows its willingness to organize the institution’s first Open Day as soon as the opportunity presents itself!

“We attended a very interesting lecture and got to know the projects from Ciência Viva Clubs from Elvas and Portalegre Schools, and then they showed us the facilities, such as the laboratories”, says one of the participating students, who particularly appreciated the possibility of seeing the researchers in action. And she dreams of one day being a researcher herself. The work being developed at the departament of Formulations and Process Development, which is dedicated namely to the encapsulation of biocontrol agnets for its effective application in crops, attracted paticular attention.

The mentioned lecture was presented by Pedro Fevereiro, InPP’s CEO, and focused on the evolution of plants and the thousand-year-old action of man in terms of genetic changes to the plant world, in particular the one that feeds us. Among Portalegre’s students, most had not only never visited INIAV Elvas, but also did not know about its existence, much less its history and role in plant breeding at a national level since the forties. INIAV is a founding associate of InPP and its Elvas facilities hold InPP’s headquarters.

Alcides Silva, 10th grade teacher of the Agricultural Production Course at D. Sancho II Secondary School in Elvas and coordinator of the recently created Clube Ciência Viva at that school, liked the initiative, which he considered “important for the kids, because they open their horizons and they get a better understanding of what can be done in scientific activity, not only in general terms, but of what is done here in Elvas”.

“It is also relevant to understand the economic importance of plants for human society, the importance of man in the evolution of these plants, from their wild form to the variant that is used today in agriculture, which is often not addressed in schools or gets a little forgotten”, underlines this teacher. Madalena Capela, 11th grade science teacher and coordinator of the Clube Ciência Viva at Mouzinho da Silveira Secondary School, also praised the activities and the students’ enthusiasm. The two teachers had the opportunity to present the projects of their respectiveClubes Ciência Viva at InPP/ INIAV’s Auditorium, sharing experiences and challenges.

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