Last week we had the pleasure to host here at KTH over 70 students from Lycée Saint Louis, Stockholm’s only French international school (https://www.lfsl.net). In the context of this year’s celebrations for the Nobel Prize Week, the young students had the opportunity to celebrate science with us, by getting an inside look of a real research environment.
First, there was a short presentation by Thomas Crouzier about KTH and the fields of research conducted here. Then the students rotated, with some of them visiting the lab of Mathieu Linares at Theoretical Chemistry, and others following us for a quick tour of our biochemistry lab. Everybody was excited to see where science happens and get a glimpse of bacterial incubators, laminar flow hoods, scientific posters and stressed researchers.
The last but not least part of the visit was a fun molecular biology experiment! The 10-year-old hopeful scientists got an introduction on what DNA is and why it is important, wore their (rather oversized) lab coats and gloves, and moved to the lab to extract DNA from a ripe banana. All students got the chance to get their hands on during the different experimental steps, and were overjoyed when they saw the banana DNA clumping together in from of their eyes.
After all, the day was a great success, with the students and us enjoying ourselves likewise. We also hope we provided a little bit of inspiration to some of these pint-sized powerhouses to become the future of science. Special thanks to the students and teachers from Lycée Saint Louis, as well as to our lab members (Thomas Crouzier, Ulrike Schimpf, Kun Jiang, Laise Lopes and Georgia Petrou) for making the day happen. See you all next year!
P.S. In case you are tired of banana pancakes and want to make alternative use of overripe bananas, find the DNA extraction protocol here.
Author – Georgia Petrou