Besting Elon Musk at Memristors and Making a Vascular System Model to End Animal Testing: Results of SCAMT Workshop Week
Yet another installment of the international winter school SCAMT Workshop Week has recently wrapped up at ITMO University. Over the course of a week, more than 40 participants from different Russian cities were attending lectures, collaborating on scientific projects, mastering working with state-of-the-art equipment and just getting to know each other.
Two times a year, in summer and winter, students majoring in biology, physics, chemistry, and programming gather at ITMO University’s International Research Center SCAMT to take part in the interdisciplinary workshop SCAMT Workshop Week. This year, the event brought together 41 participants from different Russian cities: from Vladivostok and Kaliningrad to Krasnodar and St. Petersburg.
SCAMT Workshop Week is a new format of week-long workshops that allows young scientists from all over Russia to try their hand at working on topical research problems using cutting-edge equipment. At the end of last year, the project was featured in the short-list of the QS Reimagine Education award.
“All participants of the school are divided into groups of three to six people, with each group pursuing their own research project; this year, we’ve had ten of these in total,” says Polina Khapaeva, SCAMT’s director for development. “In a week’s worth of work, they obtain not only theoretical knowledge but also, most importantly, a specific practical result: a nanopharmaceutical drug, a model of the vascular system and so on. The project incorporates the technologies currently being implemented at SCAMT. Of course, these are, above all, educational projects so that the students could develop an understanding of what nanotechnologies are out there and how a fully-fledged product is made. But the school’s format leaves place for the creation of new ideas, which the students can then continue implementing at their universities, by collaborating with us, or by enrolling in our Master’s. We’ve already had cases when an idea was born on our workshop, its author enrolled at SCAMT and now has it in the basis of their Master’s thesis.”
Apart from scientific work, this time the school’s program also includes a comprehensive entertainment aspect. For instance, the workshop’s first day included a science quiz that allowed the participants to better get to know each other before the start of the joint work. What’s more, those of the students who were new to St. Petersburg could participate in a tour of the city. Also awaiting the participants was an open doors day in the quest format: traveling along a specified route, they were learning about each of SCAMT’s 110 research and one industrial laboratories.
Candidates to participate in the workshops were chosen on the basis of a motivation letter and CV, which they submitted on the project’s website. The best students have the opportunity to enroll in ITMO’s Master’s with no additional entrance examinations.
Adelia Kasimova, a student at the Udmurt State University