A submarine dives through the depths of the oceans. Inside it, hundreds of boys and girls approach the whales or turtles that swim around them and play with sand in their hands, trying to guess the geological evolution of the so-called Canary Islands. This experience is now a reality thanks to the inauguration of a new edition of DISALaboratoryCanarias Marine Laboratory, in the newly opened permanent room of the Elder Museum of Science and Technology. Here, science and fun go hand in hand to deepen the knowledge of the coastline and the characteristics of the seabed of the Archipelago.
This installation dates back to 2015 when the mobile version of DISALab was operational. That bus that toured more than 500 educational centers becomes a space that brings together experiments and activities designed to learn in a different way, as well as adapt its content to inclusive formats such as braille texts for people with blindness. The tour begins with the identification of the endemic species of cetaceans and turtles of the Islands, where a periscope allows you to observe virtual reality digital images and glasses of reality 360º magnification immerses the visitor.
These tools, coated with the pertinent scientific rigor, are the support of scientific dissemination that Pilar Garcia Jimenez, Vice Dean of Quality of the Faculty of Marine Sciencesdefended during the presentation of the project in which the research group Marine Plant Physiology and Biotechnology and Environmental Microbiology of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has participated: "This space helps us researchers to disseminate our work because, As scientists who dedicate ourselves to the laboratory, sometimes we lose the reflection of the society for which we work".
Digital natives and scientific vocations
Therefore, these elements, given to a digital native generation, are the perfect accompaniment to deepen the knowledge acquired in the classroom. "It is essential that we are able to express our knowledge so that everyone and at all levels understands us", emphasizes the researcher. In the facility, there is also a touch table that runs along the beaches of the eight islands and, as a great attraction, there is a video walls which works like a video game in which the public interacts with the screen to raise awareness about cleaning the seabed and caring for the environment, as well as a sandbox that allows touching the geological formation of the Islands. The itinerary is completed with stops at the tablets who discover the mysteries of algae and sebadales, and the biological microscopes that show different samples of plankton and microlife and the meanings of each grain of sand that can belong to both shell fragments and volcanic rock.
During the presentation, he was the director of the Museum, José Gilberto Moreno García, who showed this "pedagogical and educational space" as an opportunity to change the perspective of the human being on the planet on which he lives, "so that humanity takes care of the resources available"; accompanied by the director of the Foundation, Sara Mateos, the president of the DISA Foundation, Raimundo Baroja Rieu, and the Deputy Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumption of the Government of the Canary Islands, Justo Artiles Sánchez. This act of corporate social responsibility by the oil company is carried out in order to "awaken scientific vocations through curiosity with the aim that in the future they become a desire for research", highlighted Baroja Rieu.
In an era marked by hoaxes on social networks, especially as a result of the pandemic caused by Covid-19, investing in education is essential to counteract the power of disinformation: "We work with social networks because it is the way we communicate at present, but, being a short and instantaneous interaction, a lot of information is synthesized in such a way that the concept and general idea of the topic is lost, Therefore, it must be complemented and corrected with activities of this type.", indicated the scientist Pilar García.
An opportunity to enjoy science with the involvement of different researchers and experts who have made this commitment to knowledge possible.