Adriana C. is one of our students in IB1. Last May she was accepted to participate in the Joves i Ciència program along with Isabel Lammers (see last week’s newsletter). In July she went on a two week residential course and here is her account of what happened….
Joves i Ciència was a truly amazing and unique experience, probably one of the best in my life! I participated in the biomedicine project, and our objective was to modify an active agent found in lavender in order to get a possible drug for Alzheimer’s. The project was divided into two main parts: the first focused on the investigation and isolation of BACE-1, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s, and, once we had its three-dimensional structure, we passed on to the second part. This part was dedicated to the design of the drug and the study of its interaction with BACE-1, using computational biology in order to do so. Both parts were combined with theory lessons in order to understand what we were doing.
Although most of the time there was dedicated to science, we had plenty of time to socialise, play instruments and enjoy the beautiful surroundings! We did a whole day outing and had activities every evening. These included a star observation, a scientific comedy show and an orientation race where we all ended up being covered in mud! The people there were amazing and I made great friends.
When it comes to applying for Joves i Ciència, the first step is sending a written application, which includes a motivation letter saying why you chose the project and an answer to a question related to the project. Then, if you are accepted onto the second phase, you attend an interview. I personally didn’t prepare for it, but you can if that makes you feel more confident. Just keep in mind that they’re not interested in seeing how much you know, but how you can think out answers to questions you don’t know, so just show them all of your thinking! It’s true that it’s a competitive program to get into, but no one felt confident of getting in when they applied and it’s certainly worth giving it a try!