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Masterclass Mosquito Alert-project

On March 22nd, 85 students from Technasium high schools Porteum from Lelystad, Dongemondcollege from Raamsdonkveer, CSG Prins Maurits from Middelharnis, Schaersvoorde from Aalten and Eligant Lyceum from Zutphen gathered to attend the Masterclass Mosquito Alert-project at Avans Hogeschool in Breda. 

The Technasium students are contributing to the international, multi-year research project One Health PACT by, among other things, mapping which mosquito species occur in their environment. They also share photos of mosquitoes and mosquito breeding sites with the researchers via the international Mosquito Alert app.

A lecture by One Health PACT’s Bijan Godzari

Bijan gave a lecture about the process and insights of his research project. His project “Serological tools for surveillance across species” seeks to develop a fieldable, species-independent serological assay able to detect and distinguish between multiple arbovirus-specific antibodies. During his scientific research, Bijan ran into some challenges and he gave the students advice on how they too are bound to encounter challenges during their research and overcome them. 

Feedback sessions, tour through the labs and an experiment 

The Technasium students separated into groups to each attend a next part of the Masterclass. The groups attended feedback rounds, got a tour through the labs of Avans and they performed their own little experiment by staining cheek mucosa in the Histolab. 

During the feedback sessions, students received feedback on their previously formulated research question from students from Avans, PhD’s from One Health PACT Bijan Godzari and Gianfilippo Agliani and from Education Manager Santi Escartin from the Mosquito Alert-project. They also had time to ask questions about their research, what method they can apply the best, how scientific research is done and to ask the PhD students questions about their research.

Bijan about the feedback sessions with the students: ‘It was very clear that they had done the necessary background reading, they really had thought through their research questions. All the groups asked really good questions! They can’t execute all the protocols, but we were able to change them so that they could execute the experiments. But, it is clear that these are all bright students, definitely.

Afterwards, Yke Stockman, student from Avans and now also researcher for One Health PACT gave the students a presentation on his own research for One Health PACT. He is working for the next six months on OHPACT-related projects under the supervision of teachers with One Health PACT. Within this part of the curriculum of bachelor education, project-based learning is essential.

At the final event on the 14th of June, the students will present their findings via pitches and poster sessions!