A multimedia application for schools to learn about biomedicine and how does a laboratory work

Multimedia applications are an ideal tool to stimulate learning and explaining complex concepts. That is the reason Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), the biomedical research center linked to the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, the University of Barcelona and the CSIC, joined efforts with Ambientech, an institution specialized in educational portals. The result is a virtual laboratory designed to become an educational support in the classrooms, which explains scientific concepts and explains everyday activity in clinical and basic laboratories. This activity, which was started with a grant from the Generalitat de Catalunya (ACDC 2010) and had the support of the Obra Social "la Caixa", is now available in Spanish, Catalan e English and at www.ambientech.org.

The first chapter is about hereditary colon cancer, although it is a modular collection that will be adding new activities linked to more diseases and processes. The continuity of the initiative is based in the close collaboration between Ambientech professionals, led by editor Àngels Sala, and the team of professionals (oncologists, gastroenterologists, technicians ...) from IDIBAPS - Hospital Clínic who have made this activity possible, coordinated by Àlex Argemí from Communication office of this institution and the PI of the divulgation project funded in the call ACDC2010.

laboratori_virtual2In the virtual laboratory for biomedical research we will work with fictional characters like Dr. Irene Fucsina, from a Histology Laboratory at the Hospital Clinic, or Dr. Francesca Eppen, from a Laboratory of Genetics at the IDIBAPS. We will share with a patient the early detection of colon cancer, and learn some key concepts about cancer, genomics and life in a biomedical laboratory. This activity contains attractive animations and exercises with a high interactivity to facilitate learning and keep users motivated. The study is sequential and progressive and knowledge is acquired from observation and practice. This initiative has been linked to the contents of the official program of science subjects at schools, so that the material produced can be used as teaching support in high school classrooms.

Schools often request school visits to research centers. Unfortunately, for security reasons iot is not always possible to let students access the laboratories where cutting-edge scientific research is done. The developers of this activity aim to break this barrier with an open-access multimedia platform, where some processes related to a clinical laboratory and cancer research are explained. This is an innovative and quality education using ICT as a basic tool of learning. The target audiences are secondary education teachers and students, but the activity is available for everyone who wants to learn and have fun.

Laboratori Virtual