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Students from the Col·legi Claret in Barcelona win the 2nd edition of ‘Reimagine Science’ in Catalonia

The 2nd edition of the program “Reimagine Science: Clinical trials, drug research and development”, promoted in Catalonia by Novartis, the Barcelona Science Park and Big Van Ciencia, concluded on January 24 with a gala at the Park , in which the winning video of the contest was announced. From the over 1,750 secondary students at 52 schools in Catalonia who participated in this initiative, the judges chose the group from Col·legi Claret de Barcelona.

The ceremony, with the announcement of the winning proposal selected by the panel of judges, was held in the PCB auditorium. Coinciding with the International Day of Education, the event brought together the nine finalists in person to compete with their creative proposals explaining how they see and interpret the world of clinical trials. The event was also streamed live for the more than 1,750 students and teachers who initially submitted a proposal.

This initiative aims to encourage interest in science and foster scientific vocations, sharing the latest advances in the subject with secondary students and teachers. As a result, it ensures learning and group reflection on the new formats, factors and agents that are involved in the drug development and clinical research processes.

In order to hit on attractive, dynamic language, the event was planned so that the finalists would present their projects using the performing arts, specifically disruptive formats that are popular with young people: science stand-up, songs, sketches and flash mobs, among others. So, the candidates combined knowledge and dynamism, adapting to a more attractive language and reimagining learning through new formats that are more innovative, attractive and efficient for young people.

The panel of judges, which included clinical research professionals from Novartis and experts in science, education and dissemination from the Barcelona Science Park and Big Van Ciencia, assessed more than 60 submissions created by 285 students at 14 schools throughout Catalonia.

After the judging, which looked at the clarity of the message, content presented and participants’ charisma, the winning video this year was “La historia de una vacuna” by students from Col·legi Claret de Barcelona: Nora Riera, Maria Rodríguez, Daniel Falces, Albert Font, Sara Casagrande, Camila Dova, Roger Bermejo, Ariadna Tutusaus, Èric Muñoz, Bernat Rosés and Hèctor Via-Dufresne, with their teacher Anna Clavaguera.

“For the students, this was a fairly difficult challenge because it wasn’t only about learning the content but also sharing it with a young audience that always sets the bar very high. The goal was to create a final product with a touch of humour without sacrificing scientific rigour, that was entertaining yet educational,” explains Anna Clavaguera. “This type of project encourages young people to be creative and shows them the value of teamwork. Taking part in ‘Reimagine Science’, the students learned in a meaningful way, had fun and were exposed to scientific vocations.” Despite the exceptional situation caused by the pandemic, and following all pertinent healthcare recommendations, the event also featured representatives of the promoters of the gala and collaborating institutions.

Essential for the future

In this second edition of the programme, Novartis highlighted the power of research as a transversal tool that connects experts and young people interested in the field, and can change the future for generations to come. “Bringing science to young people isn’t just about making it understandable; it’s also giving them ownership. Training programmes like this one are key to the future of our society and of research because they spark young peoples’ interest in science and encourage the coming generations to reflect. Expanding ‘Reimagine Science’ into other communities, like the first edition held in Madrid, shows our commitment to reimagining medicine,” shared Novartis Spain Clinical Trial Monitoring Head Javier Malpesa.

Barcelona Science Park CEO Maria Terrades thanked Novartis for its commitment to this programme: “The first edition of ‘Reimagine Science’ showed us how much our young people want to learn and innovate, and their fresh take on science. This second edition consolidates that first experience and was able to do so in person. Working together, companies and institutions, our mission is to bring science to young people. Programmes like this one, thanks to Novartis and Big Van Ciencia, are blazing the trail we should follow over the coming years: innovative training formats and programmes with collaboration from public and private institutions that aim to bring science to everyone, from a very early age.”

Also on Monday 24 January, the final gala of the Madrid programme was also held, announcing the winners of the first edition of the contest in the Community of Madrid, which had 614 students and teachers from 14 secondary schools. The winning students and school from the Madrid edition were Silvia Fernández, Judith López, Amina Pavel and Laura Saldañan at IES Miguel Delibes.

With this, Novartis concludes another edition of the ‘Reimagine Science’ programme, with more than 2,300 participants. The initiative kicked off in 2021 and is a benchmark in science training. Preparations are already under way for the next edition, which will continue to work to bring medical science to young people.