Inspiring the next generation Nov 06, 2018
Prof. dr. Wanda GUEDENS
Today on the 6th of November, we launch a brand new science project called “Chemonomics”. This pilot project is a collaboration between the chemistry department of UHasselt and 4 secondary schools. The goal? To inspire high school students with entrepreneurship and science.
A SUSTAINABLE WORLD
“When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” – Dalai Lama
Chemonomics (CHEMistry & ecONOMICS) forms a unique connection between the scientific process and entrepreneurship, with the creative thought process that both have in common being the glue. “We founded this project together with 4 schools and StudentStartUp”, Prof. Wanda Guedens explains. “In it, the students try to develop a product or applications based upon a scientific paper that focusses on sustainable energy. This all while being guided by Ph.D. students.”
“At the start of this academic year, the students received a scientific article”, dr. Kristien Brassinne tells us. “In small groups, they will try to conceive a new idea/solution after which our researchers will help them to develop an actual application or product. But it is not just science. During this period, the students also need to evaluate whether or not their idea is economically viable and how they would promote it to their stakeholders.”
ALEA IACTA EST
Today our university welcomed the participants with an interactive and educational day. “We introduced them to our researchers and labs and already taught them some valuable skills like brainstorming, critical thinking, and the business model canvas”, dr. Melissa Thys explains. “On top of that, we showed them how they can distinguish scientific information from non-scientific one.”
During the academic year, the students will frequently visit their ‘godparent’ researcher in their lab. At the closing event in May 2019, the students will then present their project in front of an external jury at UHasselt, something we at inSCIght are already looking forward to. Alea iacta est … everything is possible now. Who knows what they will come up with?
The participating schools are Atlascollege (Genk), Atheneum Plus (Hasselt), IKSO (Hoeselt) and Virga Jesse College (Hasselt).