On Friday, 29th September the annual event of science "The European Researchers' Night" was held simultaneously in 340 European cities. IMDEA Water participated in six activities, 5 workshops at the Royal Botanic Garden Juan Carlos I of University of Alcala and other in the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid with other Institutes IMDEAs (Materials, Nanoscience, Software, Food, Energy and Networks).
In the workshop “May a waste product drinking water?” different concepts and techniques of the osmosis processes and reverse osmosis processes were explained through experiments with eggs. Attendees also made their own membranes and learned about their recyclability in a simple and practical way.
"Bloom: The explosion of aquatic life" approached the visitors to the freah water mycoorganisms world, discovering how they look like through 3D photographs.
Through a video made by the researchers, the attendees discovered how the Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins Group of IMDEA Water works with these microorganisms, since the collection of samples, to their analysis in our laboratories. In addition, this activity allowed visitors to feel like authentic scientists collecting water samples from the lake of the Botanical Garden and using a microscope to identify the species that inhabit it.
In the activity "Is it possible to clean water using sunlight?" our researchers showed how we can produce electricity, cook and even heat a home by using solar energy. Solar toys helped them to understand the photovoltaic solar energy and a solar kitchen and a solar oven showed them how we could use solar energy for cooking. While bacteria bears and various games taught them that this energy can be used to purify water, thanks to the increase in temperature that occurs and the power of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
In the activity "Research outside the comfort zone (groundwater and groundwater dependent ecosystems)" the attendees discovered the importance of groundwater. Through the recreation of an aquifer, they could see how human activities affect groundwater and the consequences that these activities may have on their associated ecosystems. In addition, the attendees used stereomicroscopes to discover the most representative organisms inhabiting these waters, microcrustaceans. The entire workshop was held in a recreated cave to enable the assistants leave their comfort zone and immerse themselves in these extreme environments
In the last activity organized at the Botanical Garden, "Meet the METland, a smart generation of wastewater treatment" attendees learned how we could use the metabolism of certain bacteria in the intelligent treatment of wastewater and obtaining energy from the waste. Through a scale model, participants discovered the operation of a small METland, an artificial wetland based on microbial electrochemical technologies (MET)
In the joint activity of IMDEAs institutes "IMDEA-CSI: Crime scene investigation" our researchers collaborated with the National Police in the investigation of a crime. Each researcher contributed with with the specific knowledge of its field and showed the role that science plays in police work.
This project of the European Researchers' Night in Madrid 2017 is funded by the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the European Commission. Directorate General for Education and Culture. European Commission under the Grant Agreement number 721631.