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Durante Over three days, from 24 to 26 November 2011, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) will give a course on cell biology for 24 secondary-school teachers in the Barcelona area with the aim of improving science teaching.

The EMBL is one of the most renowned science-teaching bodies in Europe, and each year they choose one country in the European Union in which to promote these workshops in coordination with a local research institution.

Based on biomedical research carried out with the Drosophila melanogaster fly, the course, entitled On the Fly, will cover various topics on the curriculum for children over 12: mitosis, cell death, genetic diseases and ethics in experiments with animals. During the workshop, scientists and teachers will work together to develop and perfect materials and resources that can later be used in the classroom. The program will also try to open up pathways for lasting communication between the two groups and networks that will serve as an educational resource after the workshop is over.

This initiative is a good opportunity to bring together scientists from one of the top Spanish research centers —it has recently been recognized as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence by the Ministry of Science and Innovation— and teachers from Catalan secondary schools. "If we want a well-trained, critical-thinking society that is capable of generating wealth and aware of the value of science, we must drive projects that impact the education our young people receive,” says Joan Guinovart, director of the IRB Barcelona. The center hopes to offer a yearly workshop for secondary-school teachers.

The course will count as 20 hours of training accredited by the Catalan Department of Education.

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