This project is great on so many levels!
I was surrounded with a tone of new things from the first day.
First of, I met the rest of the participants that come from all over Europe - which was very interesting. Than in the morning all of us went to catch the train to go to ENEA (actually we ran) where we met the researchers that are going to be with us for the rest of our stay in ENEA. Because it was the first day - we had a little tour of the place (the place is huge!) where we visited the solar, seismic and electromagnetic lab. Apart from the the amazing giant solar panel, the shaking table and the 'cool' black and white electromagnetic chamber - the scientists level of enthusiasm to explain and share the information about their research in the labs was really great.
After lunch, we sat in the newsroom and discussed about our role in all of this. How to make science more appealing to the public, how to make it interesting, how to find news if there may be non, how to simplify the scientific language and make it understandable…
These are all valid questions and especially for me because this is the first time I will be reporting about science which makes it an interesting challenge.
Tomorrow I am going to my assigned lab with my lab partner Szilvia to get started on my own research…
And last but not least - the chance to be here in Rome and check out the city is wonderful!
Today Mrs Barbara Di Giovanni picked us up at the entrance (my lab partner Szilvia and me). She is a part of the research team in the Safenut project that consists of recovery, characterization, core collection and utilization of genetic resources of hazelnut and almond in the Mediterranean area. Barbara gave us some material to read so that we can better understand the project objectives and the importance of this research. It is a good thing that I got this project for my story because the Safenut project finishes this year so I can see the entire process of the project and the results of a three year project. We also met Mrs Loretta Bacchetta that is going to be with us tomorrow and talk more about the important points of the project and in that way help me to find the focus of my story.
I still can't decide either to do a A/V story or an article so I am taking pictures and photographs in the same time.
In ENEA you are surrounded with scientific experiments and projects. I mean that literally because Sven told me (one of the RELATE participants) that even the electrical buses that drive the employees of ENEA around the premises are a part of an experimental project! So everywhere u look - science…
Today was the day to visit the labs with Mrs Loretta Bacchetta who is the scientist in this project. She took as on a tour of the building – the ground floor. There are 3 labs but Loretta and her Marco use one of the labs to study plan college ts and make experiments. Because it was our second day Loretta showed us a Powerpoint presentation of the Safenut project and stressed the important parts of it which was a good thing for me.
I have to say that Loretta is amazing. Multitasking is something she does perfectly. While we were there - she prepared some plants for transportation to Sicily, showed us around and intorduced us to other people and their projects, showed us the presentation, did some work concerning the convention about Biodiversity that is this month and she still had a smile on her face.
Genetic erosion is something that I find very interesting in this project – and I think that is going to be the main point of my story.
Loretta took as today again to the labs and showed us the chamber where they keep and grow the plants from which they will afterwords extract the genetic components that will help other plants and research. We were able to observe her and marco preparing the experiments and marking the plants. later on we also saw barbara and said our goodbyes cos she is not going to be in ENEA tomorrow. I was a bit sad when i said goodbye cos Barbara is a fun and excellent person who helped us a lot in preparing for this topic.
Loretta took as later on to another building where we met students all over the world who came to do their PhD in science (collaboration with ENEA). Maria is one of the students and she helped with the molecular characterization of hazelnuts and almonds in this project.
The safenut project is really an important issue. The preservation of genetic diversity is something that is important for the future. I wont say anymore - you will see it in my final project.
tomorrow is our last day and the final day to ask some additional questions to our researcher..
every morning we came to ENEA Barbara and later Loretta took as to drink coffee. So this morning this was our last espresso in Enea. After we went to the labs and met with Loretta to answer some of the final questions. I had to hurry cos I had a 11 am appointment with Mr. D' Atanasio in the electromagnetic lab. Ana and Annamaria went as well. We were there for one hour and observed the electromagnetic testing on some military equipment. When we were finished we we on our was to lunch and we had to prepare for our presentation. The presentations begun at 2 pm and all of our researchers were there to hear our feedback on the projects we observed.
At 4 we took our bus and than train to the hotel. Before the hotel we said goodbye to everybody and especially to Fabiolla who helped us a lot in this 5 days. And when I say help I mean help in every way - with our stories, finding contacts and even sightseeing!
I was honestly lucky that I got this opportunity. I met some people (participants) who become my friends, interesting scientists and their projects, cool and kind people as Barbara and Loretta and I got to see Rome which I love more every time I visit!
So Relate is over - now the final project has to be done…
I thank everybody who made this experience so great - You know who you are1