The internship «The helminths around us! Come and see the helminths you can find right next to you!», a joint project between GHTM and «Ciência Viva – National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture» grabbed the attention of three secondary school students.
Sofia, Camila, and Aline, 10th year students, came to learn the private life of Toxocara helminta, a human parasite, particularly vicious to children, that lives in the soil in dark areas.
Prof. Pedro Ferreira designed an internship with the following agenda:
a) To acquire knowledge about the helminths that live part of their life in the soil (geohelminths), but when in contact with the human body, they can invade it and cause disease.
b) To be integrated into the usual working environment of researchers.
c) To select public spaces recognised as potential geohelminth habitats for the collection of soil and/or sand samples.
d) To apply techniques for the handling of samples taken in c) to test for the presence of geohelminth life forms.
e) To morphologically characterise and identify the geohelminths collected in d).
f) To participate in the discussion about the environmental conditions and health behaviours that lead to the dispersion of geohelminths.
g) To know how and start to maintain a life cycle of a helminth in the laboratory.
h) To prepare a report and a presentation on the activities carried out.
The three girls showed a lot of interest in the proposed activities, and liked a lot the time they were working in the laboratory. Considering their age and school year they had an exceptional performance.
«GHTM for Teens – PSI» project’s ultimate goal is to incentivise the interest for life sciences and, of the four teenagers, two, which were applying to that area at the university, said they were more decided than ever after that week. Go girls!
«Ciência Viva no Laboratório – Ocupação Científica de Jovens nas Férias»
«Ciência Viva in the Laboratory – Scientific Occupation of Young People on School Holidays»
«Ciência Viva no Laboratório – Criar Futuro 2021» / «Ciência Viva in the Laboratory – Creating Future 2021»
is a summer internship program for students from year 9 (Portuguese Basic Education’s last year) to year 12 (Portuguese Secondary Education’s last year). It runs from July to September, and aims to promote the teaching of experimental science and to encourage the attraction of young people to scientific careers.
«Ciência Viva» is the branded name of the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, meaning «Live Science».