The further education program “Lab meets teacher” gives teachers direct insights into the latest research at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC). “Now we have developed an online format, ‘Lab meets teacher – digital!’, which will launch in September,” says project leader Dr. Luiza Bengtsson, from the Communications Department. The biomedical courses are aimed at teachers from all types of schools, especially teachers who specialize in natural science subjects like biology, chemistry and physics. Interested teachers from other subject areas are also welcome to participate, as the topics covered by the courses are as diverse and multidisciplinary as the MDC’s own research.
In eight different online courses, scientists offer the opportunity to learn first-hand what questions they are investigating, what challenges they face and how their research could be applied. Whether it’s about using bioinformatic methods to reconstruct the course of cancer, solving the many mysteries of the microbiome or discussing the state of stem cell research and its ethical implications, the topics are always exciting and highly topical. The course on molecular machines, for example, looks at how the structure and function of proteins are tied together and how X-ray structural analysis can be used to uncover their secrets. In the course on SARS-CoV-2, participants learn what happens at the cellular level when the virus infects the body and how the disease can develop in different ways.
The 90-minute online courses are available only in German and via the conference service of the German National Research and Education Network (DFNconf). In the first part of the course, teachers watch a live lecture on the respective research topic. Afterwards, there is ample time set aside for questions, discussion and exchange. “We know from our previous courses that teachers are very good at asking questions,” says Bengtsson. “But that’s exactly how it should be – enthusiasm for topics can become contagious only when teachers really understand the research. We look forward to many inquisitive participants!”
Text: Nicole Silbermann