On September 24 and 25, the twelfth edition of the European Researchers' Night in Madrid 2021 took place, an event that was held simultaneously in more than 350 European cities.
In this edition, during the afternoon of September 24, IMDEA Agua showed how water research is approached from different perspectives through various stands, workshops and an escape game.
The ecotoxicology group showed the attendees that there are toxic compounds that affect aquatic life and that some living beings can provide us with information on the health of rivers and lakes. In addition, they carried out a guided visit to the outdoor mesocosm facilities (miniature aquatic worlds) where the attendees were able to identify the invertebrates that show that the water is of good quality.
Our Recycling Keepers (Membrane Technology Group) taught how membranes work to help remove plastics from the ocean work and how they are recycled. They also conducted an experiment with membranes that can be repeated at home.
The group on soil and water quality in the environment told how pollutants reach nature and how nature can be our ally if we protect it. In addition, they explained the operation of vegetation filters that, thanks to nature (soil, microorganisms and vegetation), allow wastewater to be treated.
The biological contamination group, for its part, explained how bacteria resistant to antibiotics are identified. On the other hand, the bioe group discovered to the attendees how wastewater is purified in a sustainable way thanks to electroactive bacteria, and also organized an escape game in which the attendees had to solve a series of keys to find out how to purify waste water using microorganisms.
Finally, the IMDEA Agua Laboratories staff carried out three practical workshops: a workshop to detect microscopic life thanks to ultraviolet light, a second workshop in which the long journey that contaminants take in the soil was explained, and finally, a workshop in which it was shown how contaminants present in water are separated in the laboratory and the effects they produce on the environment.
The European Researchers' Night is a pan-European event taking place the last Friday and Saturday of September. In Madrid it is managed by Fundación para el Conocimiento madri+d. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - under Grant Agreement No 101.036.010.