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Media Corner
17 December 2012

Inspiring young students to choose fusion as a career

F4E’s Jesus Izquierdo got Catalonian youth excited about choosing a career in science or engineering

As part of the activities organised during the Catalonian week of Science, F4E’s technical expert Jesus Izquierdo, promoted the work of F4E and gave a real insight into what it could be like to work as a scientist or engineer. The audience, several classes of young Catalonian students currently deciding what university studies to choose, proved to be an inquisitive and appreciative audience who were eager to learn more.

A nuclear engineer by training and with a strong background in fusion, Izquierdo’s presentation featured clips from films where fusion is part of the story line, such as Matrix and the Batman film, the Dark Knight. “It was especially fun to explain what a scientist or an engineer working at F4E does and the challenges we face”, he says. “The kids were both impressed and enthusiastic about working at F4E when I told them about all the different nationalities we have working here and the internationality of the ITER collaboration with 7 global parties involved. It is true that they were particularly attentive because their teachers had prepared them in advance by presenting the topic to them before my presentation, but as curious young people they were already very knowledgeable about energy shortage issues, the necessity to create efficient energy and environmental issues links to energy consumption.”

The Catalonian week of Science is a yearly event which involves pupils at high schools participating in science and engineering activities. Spearheaded by the Catalonian government some ten years ago, the idea is get young people interested in science and engineering and to promote these subjects as possible areas of interest when students have to choose focus for further studies. Around 350 different activities ̶ conferences, courses and workshops ̶ were organised in 60 different locations in Catalonia during one week in late November. This year’s edition featured three different themes: sustainable energy, neuroscience and active ageing.

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