This past summer, Mariana Machado Tóffolo, a Biological Sciences Major who was awarded Brazil’s prestigious Scientific Mobility Program scholarship (Ciência sem Fronteiras in Portuguese), spent one year studying in the United States, and completed a three-month internship at Science House Foundation, under the coordination of Joshua Fouts, Executive Director of the Foundation.
When Mariana returned to Brazil, she began a research project in partnership with Science House Foundation under the coordination of Dr. Silmara Sartoreto de Oliveira, Professor of Biological Sciences at UEL, (Londrina State University). The research project aims to spark interest in children 10-14 years old in topics related to science, and from there encourage a new generation of future scientists. Professor Sartoreto’s research has focused primarily on pedagogy in the Biological Sciences.
The project being developed by Mariana and under the direction of Professor Silmara is linked to Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope program. Science House Foundation is headquartered in New York City with partners in 28 countries.
Through this partnership, UEL in Londrina, now represents a new pole in Brazil, putting the University on the map pursuing unique cultural collaboration, informal-science education research. The research will use a hands-on approach providing an environment where students can explore their own knowledge through an investigative educational framework. The children will study microscopic specimens of some organisms, which will be visualized and compared with the two types of microscopes that are included in the MicroGlobalScope program — an upright Celestron microscope and a hand-held MiScope, which has been used for forensics research, which were donated for research by Science House Foundation.
UEL and Science House Foundation plan to collaborate in developing a longitudinal survey and image data, with a focus on pedagogy and learning processes, beginning with discussions around the initial observations of the students. This project will also focus on the importance of core training of UEL students of Biological Sciences. They will be able to use the kits donated by Science House Foundation in their teaching internships, and thus experiment with new teaching approaches, techniques and methodologies.