Science in Virus Times


The virus caught us by surprise. It got into our lives suddenly. It was far away, and it did not seem like a threat. But it spread very fast and became a threat to us all.

The classes were full, the projects underway, illusions on, students motivated, science through their veins, pounding. And then, there was silence!

We all thought it cannot be! We must continue… Then it occurred to me to start with the challenges: the ESPICIENTÍFICOS CHALLENGES: Home Science in the times of virus – see content, in Spanish, here. In this material you can find:

  • Brief daily moments of encounters with science,
  • The practice of different scientific disciplines at home,
  • STEAM education for families and home,
  • Activities you can do always without leaving home.

Every morning, after getting up, I launch the challenge of the day (we have already 34). I send it via WhatsApp to several groups: the group of parents of my science school Espiciencia; the group of Spanish Scientix Ambassadors; colleagues of Science on Stage; to my School colleague teachers and the town institute teachers; to my fellow teachers and students from the University Burgos; friends; and family.

Social networks are part of my life and thanks to them, the Scientific Challenges are reaching many homes in Spain and the world (by using also Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

The local and regional press (Burgosconecta, Laguiago, Norte de Castilla) and educational entities of the province (Bebot Comunity) echoed our science adventure at home and every day I record a small explanatory video for them as you see in the following (content in Spanish):

In each set, I ask them to send me their conclusions and their experiences. With the videos and images received, I make posts on Facebook so that everyone can enjoy the science lived at home every day, here you can see one Facebook post as an example.

Classes with my students from the Faculty of Education were also cut short. Our trips through the teaching of experimental sciences have changed scenario, but their desire to learn and to teach, their creativity, and their vocation were not lost, they have increased. My proposals for practical assumptions about COVID19 have sharpened their cleverness to unsuspected limits. There are some examples: Covid19 Game & Twitter post.

The creation of attractive virtual materials has been complex but at the same time motivating and exciting. It is helping me to renew my training in the use of online teaching tools that I did not know. Here some examples and teaching materials: augmented reality, biochemistry, and plants

Technology is also helping us to be more “useful”. From Espiciencia, coordinated by the University of Burgos, we are carrying out the printing of protective visors for all people in our region who need them. Our 3D printers are working quickly to improve the work and protection for the personnel’s health and risk reduction.

We do not want something so small to undermine our hopes and illusions of science.

The acquisition of a quality scientific culture based on evidence ensures a future with coherent and critical citizens.

Together we can beat it. Everything will be fine!

Author: Dr. Bárbara de Aymerich Vadillo, Scientix Ambassador, Spain

Featured image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay – See Pixabay License

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