by Christina Dias & Maria João Fonseca (University of Porto, Portugal)
Carolina Michaëlis Group of Schools, one of the partner schools in the PARRISE project, held an open day on May 7th, 2016, having as the main goal to disseminate activities developed by the students in various areas of study, such as science, music, dance, painting, etc.
Amongst the various activities presented was the “Assessment of drug consumption habits in the school community: using Daphnia magna as a model organism to evaluate drugs effects”, an activity developed by the teachers of this school who took part in the first round of PARRISE’s TPD course in Portugal. During three hours, six students implemented a set of practical procedures aiming to evaluate the toxicity of a selection of substances used by humans in their everyday life, using Daphnia magna as a model organism. Likewise, they also presented the main outcomes of a survey about the consumption habits of some of these substances by the school community carried out by themselves. This event provided opportunities to promote reflection about consumption habits of these drugs and their influence on human health.
During this open day, more than 700 people visited the school and over 300 students took part the implementation of the activities put forth. This was definitely a day which boosted scientific culture, providing the opportunity of the larger school community (including parents, friends and other relatives) to get acquainted with the great work that students engage in at their school.