Young students shadow researchers at the University of Malta
During the summer months, a group of secondary school students who had participated in the Malta Junior Science Olympiad were awarded with summer internships at the University of Malta’s Faculty of Science and the Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy. The students were associated with research groups and worked on a wide range of interesting projects under the supervision of researchers and other academic members of staff. The student projects concerned a range of topics from the world of the very small to the vastness of the universe. They were able to determine the amount of days for one solar revolution, observe plant samples under the microscope as well as manipulate apparatus in the Electromagnetics Laboratory, to statistically analyse data, etc.
The University of Malta’s Faculty of Science, in collaboration with the Directorate Learning and Assessment Programmes, Ministry for Education and Employment, recently held the concluding event for the Go4Research student internship programme in the Auditorium of the University of Malta’s Valletta Campus.
The group of 19 students who completed the internship programme attended the concluding event and received certificates of participation from the University of Malta pro-rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor Saviour Zammit. They also prepared and exhibited posters about their projects.
Professor Sammut introduced the event and gave a short message wherein he stressed the impending need for more scientists. He also stated that the Faculty of Science research output has been increasing exponentially over the past years, even more so following a considerable upgrade in its research facilities deriving from European Regional Development Funds. However, more space and facilities are needed to accommodate the increasing number of students, especially research Masters and PhDs as well as postdoctoral researchers.
Ian Mifsud, director general DQSE, was present on behalf of Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment, and gave a short speech focusing on the importance of lifelong learning and the value of bridging the gap in our educational systems. He also expressed the ministry’s sup- port and enthusiasm for the Go4research initiative and praised the excellent cooperation and collaboration of the Ministry with the Faculty of Science.
A video clip highlighting the students’ experience was shown followed by a panel discussion involving two students, Angie Cutajar and Matthew Curmi, along with two researchers, Professor Cristiana Sebu and Dr Sandro Lanfranco, who talked about the invaluable experience gained. The panel was moderated by Danielle Martine Farrugia.
The director of Curriculum Management, Gaetano Bugeja, concluded the event by speaking about stretching the capabilities of high achievers at school and highlighted the importance of such internship experiences.