Educational Collaborations for “Tomorrow’s Technicians”

The 2023/24 school year also concluded with a fruitful collaboration between Eco Research and the schools of Bolzano, aimed at training the “technicians of tomorrow”.

In particular, within the collaboration agreement with the “Galileo Galilei” Institute of Secondary Education, two internships of 76 hours each were conducted, one in September and one in October, with fifth-year students of the chemistry and environmental biotechnology course on the theme “Indoor Air Quality Analysis and Evaluation”.

The topics covered in the training hours included:

  • current regulations on indoor air quality
  • official methods of analysis of aldehydes and VOCs
  • assessment of the concentrations of determined pollutants
  • use of the HPLC-UV instrument for aldehyde analysis and TD-GC-MS for VOC analysis
  • basic notions of mass spectrometry

Furthermore, thanks to the three-year collaboration agreement signed with the Evangelista Torricelli Scientific High School, a new training course was activated within the civic education and science course, with hours both in the classroom and in the laboratory, on two different topics.

Between January and June, the topic “Polymers: what they are, where they come from, why they are so widespread, how to use them best, how to reduce the use of single-use plastic in everyday life, what are the correct methods of reuse, recycling, and disposal” was addressed. Students from various classes from the first to the fifth year participated in the series of 8 two-hour meetings held in the school’s classrooms.

In April, in a two-hour lesson, we presented the evaluation of indoor air to fifth-year students, explaining the different classes of substances present in ambient air, the methods of analysis for aldehydes and VOCs, and the correct placement of Radiello sampling cartridges. Thanks to the collaboration with Professor Modonese, the measurements in the classroom were carried out in the following days directly by the students, who placed the samplers with the two types of cartridges for the analysis of aldehydes and VOCs in different classrooms and school premises. A representative of the class then visited Eco Research to tour the laboratories and experience the aldehyde analysis method firsthand.

Finally, between May and June, a fourth-year student completed a 76-hour internship at Eco Research. During these two weeks, the student had the opportunity to engage in laboratory activities, particularly following the preparation of river sediment samples for the detection and identification of present microplastics and received training on the use of HPLC-UV instruments for aldehyde analysis and TD-GC-MS for VOC analysis, with basic notions of mass spectrometry.

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