You are hereOptiStem reaches out to Italy's next generation of scientists

OptiStem reaches out to Italy's next generation of scientists

By Emma Kemp - Posted on 31 March 2011

On 18th March 2011 an extraordinary large-scale schools event took place in four Italian cities simultaneously. Over 2,200 school students and 100 teachers from 55 high schools took a journey into the world of stem celli research. The ambitious event was coordinated by Italian group UniStem and took place at the Universities of Milan, Torino, Rome and Florence. OptiStem's educational resource "All about stem cells" provided a key contribution to the programme in Milan.


All four universities combined film and lectures to introduce the students to key concepts in stem cell science during the morning. But each University also gave the programme its own distinctive flavour by adding unique creative activities. Video link-ups gave students at the different locations a window into each other’s discussions.

Science communication in actionScience communication in actionIn Milan, the All about stem cells educational resource developed by OptiStem in collaboration with EuroSyStem and EuroStemCell came into play. The resource formed the basis of an afternoon workshop on communicating stem cell research. Students deepened their understanding of the morning's lectures by working together to develop and communicate the key messages. They created colourful posters on different aspects of stem cell science and gave presentations to explain their posters to their peers.  Students had great fun, and one commented,

“I had the opportunity to dip into the fascinating world of stem cells and their applications thanks to the direct evidence of passionate scientists. I also realized how important the right way of communicating science is if we want to better explain scientific knowledge and to reach different kinds of audiences.”

A teacher who observed the All about stem cells session said,

"The most appreciable aspect of these kind of events is that a popular language is used to communicate scientific concepts. In this way the message reaches students more directly than during school lessons."

The four universities that took part in the UniStem day each created their own lively and innovative programme. You can find out more about all the different activities and read a message from the Italian president sent to participants at the event at