College students discover Laura’s research laboratories: “It is important that we communicate our mission”

College students discover Laura’s research laboratories: “It is important that we communicate our mission”

In the building of the National Institute for Agricultural Research, Food and the Environment (Inrae), this Tuesday, March 14 in Orléans, the atmosphere is greatly renewed …

We write this without insulting the least in the world to the organizers of the place, the scholars and the other staff: it is 24 pupils of the third class, from Orléans (the colleges of Montesquieu and Jean Pelletier) and from Beaugency (the college of Robert Goebel), who are visiting. “It dates back to 2002, you weren’t born,” says Mikael, one of the researchers, as he shows them one of the samples from the European Soil Sampling Institute.

In fact, Enray is piloting the Soil Quality Measurement Network, a national observatory, with collections and analyzes carried out over fifteen years, at 2,240 sites in France. Carefully preserved samples to compare the quality of French soil over the years.

“Welcome those far away”

The visit to the laboratory, with the presentation of this project, was organized as part of the “Sciences pour tous et tous” process, led by the Val-de-Loire Regional Center, in partnership with the Directorate and research organizations – as well as Inrae, CNRS and the laboratories of the University of Orleans, which these students also discovered Throughout the week until March 17th.

This is the third edition, with the same desire each time: “to welcome students who, traditionally, cannot access an internship in these places,” sums up Laurent Cario, Communications Director at Inrae. Because they are geographically far away, or because they come from a social and cultural environment that is less favorable for scientific professions.

These teachers seek to promote scientific careers among teenage girls, as they remain in the minority

“to show things rather tangible”

“The interest is to show rather tangible things, such as the laboratory, and also to show that it is not for the Baccalaureate +8, and that different professions are involved, such as laboratory technicians”, asserts Laurent Cariou. So the laboratory is not an inaccessible tower.

Two groups of twelve pupils, from Orléans and Poigny, benefit all week from this regional scheme. The Deputy Director of the Info & Sols Unit at Inrae, Bertrand Laroche was responsible for conveying the outline of his job and his passions to those students who might later go on to scientific careers.

Avoid “jargon”

“It is important for us to make our missions known to the younger ones; apart from the Fête de la science, there are not necessarily many occasions to do so.” A younger audience for which a modified vocabulary is necessary.

“We’re used to using our jargon, our language, which isn’t always clear. That’s why I try to ask them regularly if they have any questions.”

Questions, there will be a few, generally somewhat timid, but varied, about soil pesticides or the nearest soil sample collection site (found in olive).

In any case, it is a first seed planted in the minds of those university students who will be able to open the door to the laboratory for the first time … and perhaps will not refrain from opening it. Again in the coming years, when is the time to head them.

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Dimitri Crozet

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