Public Engagement

We seek to raise public awareness of chemical research as a key factor in the progress of our society. ICIQ is also committed to engage and encourage youngsters to pursue a career in chemistry research. To this end we carry out several outreach activities to audiences of all ages as a way to get chemistry closer to society. 

Science Outreach

ICIQ has a very solid and successful strategy in science education and communication. We want to maintain our status as a reference point on topics related to science communication and education. In this regard, we have several activities addressed to the educational community  (‘From the lab to the classroom’; Chemistry workshops for high school students and ‘My First Experiment’ directed to primary school students), courses (ICIQ Summer Camp) and open access educational material for ICIQs educational platform (ICIQ Virtual Laboratory) to better support teaching and learning chemistry methodologies. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic restrictions, we couldn’t carry out most of the activities.

We also have alliances with science education foundations (‘Crazy About Chemistry’; BIYSC and ‘Youth and Science’ programmes from Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera), and the ‘Science at School’ programme from Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació.

9th edition of “Crazy for Chemistry” course


Organized by ICIQ with the support of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, it is aimed at talented students with a special interest in chemistry and research and has a particular impact on the experimental part of chemistry making use of the Institute’s equipment and facilities.

The course combines theoretical and experimental sessions that take place over 12 Saturdays, from the end of January to the beginning of December and in the 2021 edition had 24 students.

The first part of the course, until May 2021, was all online for security reasons (pandemic) every 2 Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1:30 om except the last session on May 22 which was face-to-face for the first time.

From September onwards, the sessions were face-to-face at ICIQ from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

In order for the students to have the possibility of doing a more practical part, 24 boxes were prepared and sent with material to perform experiments at home and thus present with a video with the results obtained.

Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC)

Organised by ICIQ with the support of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera.

The program aims to stimulate scientific talent among high school students and encourage their interest in conducting scientific research. It is a two-week residential approach that brings together more than 100 young people (between 16 and 18 years old) from all over the world who put into practice a scientific project.

This year we participated with «Flow Chemistry: the lab of the future» program with the participation of researchers Esther Alza, Tamás Vermes and Moreshwar b. Chaudhari.

The program was affected by the detection of COVID-19 positives and was therefore cancelled after the second session.

Since February 2021 we had numerous meetings for its organization, we edited a dossier with all the information of the program and we made the whole process of selection of the participants from ICIQ.


Youth and Science

Organised by ICIQ with the support of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera.

This program is aimed at 4th year ESO students (16 years old) and has a duration of three years. Students will participate in the different phases of the program during the summers of 4th ESO, 1st year and 2nd year of high school.

The program is structured in three phases:

1st year | Phase 1: Scientific stays at MónNatura Pyrenees: 50 students are chosen to carry out a scientific research experience working in one of the 5 projects led by top level researchers and spending 13 days living in the Valls d’Àneu environment.

2nd year | Phase 2: Stays in research centers.

3rd year | Phase 3: Stays in international research centers, where students will carry out a research project.

In 2021, ICIQ hosted two students during the month of July in the group of Prof. J. R. Galán-Mascarós and in September in the group of Prof. Emilio Palomares.


Day of Women and Girls in Science – February 11, 2021


This day aims to recognize the fundamental role women and girls play in science and technology, despite the bias they continue to face.

It is a way of highlighting equality to achieve sustainable development.

On the occasion of this day, different talks took place organized virtually in which women scientists from the ICIQ participated.

Among others, there was the participation of: Mabel de Fez and Neus Sunyer (group of Prof. J.R. Galán-Mascarós), Alba Pérez and Imma Escofet (group of Prof. Antonio Echavarren), Sara López (group of Prof. Feliu Maseras and Dr. Mónica H. Pérez-Temprano), Alba Villar (Prof. Carles Bo’s group), Katherine Villa Gómez (Junior Leader «La Caixa») and Carla Casadevall (post-doctorate abroad and former student from Prof. Julio Lloret’s group).

As it was an online event, many schools that normally do not receive researchers in the classroom due to distance, were able to have this opportunity.


City and Science Biennial – June 2021


The City and Science Biennale wants to be a space to reflect on knowledge from various points of view. The 2021 edition was held in Barcelona between June 8 and 13, 2021.

ICIQ participated with two proposals:

  • VIII Science Congress: held between June 7 and 11 (times from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.): It consists of a congress for children aged 5 to 12 who worked on different research projects in schools. During two days, the Scientific Dissemination and Education Unit and also the AiCuris Unit participated.
  • Science Festival: it took place on June 13 at the Maritime Front in Barcelona and the ICIQ participated with three different workshops of the Noah Lab supramolecular chemistry project and had the participation of different researchers from the group of Prof. Pau Ballester: Dr. Gemma Aragay, Chiara Mirabella, Pedro Miguel Mendoça Ferrira and Andrea Rivoli.
Nit Europea de la Recerca – September 24, 2021


ICIQ participated on September 24, 2021 in «La Nit de la Recerca» event that for the fourth year is organized in Tarragona within the framework of the European Researchers’ Night programme.

The Researchers’ Night is held simultaneously in 300 cities across Europe.

The aim of this proposal, which is coordinated by the URV, is to promote public recognition of researchers, show the importance of research in society, and make it clear that research is fascinating.

This 2021 edition was under the theme «Research for Change» with special emphasis on topics related to the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. The two workshops with which we participated were:

  • Magic fruits and vegetables‘ with the participation of researchers Federico Dattila and Lucía Morán (groups of Prof. Núria López and Prof. Feliu Maseras respectively).
  • Market products that speak to us‘ with the participation of researchers Alicia Martínez and Sara López (researcher from the CSOL Unit and the group of Prof. Feliu Maseras and Dr. Mónica H. Pérez-Temprano).
  • From Hydrogen Valley, they proposed to participate in a joint workshop with Eurecat, IREC, URV and ICIQ to show how an electrochemical cell works and also a hydrogen car. From the ICIQ, researchers Sergio Fernández and Geyla Dubed from the group of Prof. Julio Lloret

As part of the event, ICIQ also participated in:

  • Short informative talks (between 10-12 minutes) addressed to a non-specialized adult audience in Reus with the researcher Federico Dattila (from Prof. Núria López’s group)
  • Talks for secondary school students led by Neus Sunyer (from group of Prof. J.R. Galán-Mascarós).

Web page:

Repte Experimenta


Last year we started our participation in «Repte Experimenta» an online platform coordinated by the URV, which aims to arouse interest in science among children.

The project seeks collaboration with the educational community and offers workshops, a video contest of experiments, and a science fair.

The platform itself is also a resource for home and school experiments.

More information about the project:

Green, educational and scientific project in La Canonja 


ICIQ and La Canonja town council collaborate in the «Projecte verd, educacional i científic» with two activities:

  • Scientific activity: support of a predoctoral researcher working in the field of green chemistry. Geyla Dubed from Prof. Julio Lloret’s group applied for this opportunity.
  • Dissemination and training activity in green chemistry: will be carried out in 2022.
2021 Science Week 


This year we participated in two different activities, both outside ICIQ:

  • Science Day in Schools: from ICIQ we went to the Amposta Institute of Technology to do a workshop with the Noah Lab (Chiara Mirabella, Pedro Miguel Mendoça Ferreira and Arturo Llamosí) who taught a workshop to 1st year high school students in which they were encouraged to solve a challenge.
  • Organization of talks in collaboration with Professor Carles Bo.
Workshops in primary schools 


• Escola Sant Jordi from Vilanova i la Geltrú: Workshops for 2nd grade students.
• PAX School: Workshops for P3 and 2nd grade students.
• Escola Joan XXIII de Bonavista: Workshops for 5th and 6th grade students.

Summer camp 


In 2021, the summer camp couldn’t be  organized due to COVID restrictions.

Despite this, scientific workshops were organized for a week in July at the PAX school where students from P3 to 6th grade participated.


Supervisió de Treballs de Recerca

The «Treball de recerca TDR» (research work) is an academic work that all high school students in Southern Catalonia must do.

From ICIQ, we offer the students of the Crazy Chemistry Course to carry out the practical part of their research work (TDR) in our facilities, and this call can be extended to other candidates in case of availability.

In 2021, 9 students of the Chemistry Crazy Course carried out the practical part of their research work in the group of Prof. J. R. Galán-Mascarós tutored by researchers David Nieto and Dr. Felipe Garcés.

Two other students also requested to develop the practical part of their research work at the Institute, specifically in the Outreach laboratory.


Internships at ICIQ

During the month of July 2021, two students took an optional high school course called Internships.

The first student, Paula Espiñeira, spent three weeks doing an internship with Prof. Carles Bo’s group and one more week in the Health and Safety Department.

The second student, Kira Capafons, spent two weeks in the X-Ray Unit with Dr. Eduardo Escudero.


Media Relations and Social Media

We bring to the general public the results of the research that ICIQ has achieved through the media. In 2021, ICIQ appeared 365 times* in many media outlets. Most of the appearances were on online platforms (273), followed by the written press (77), radio (17), and television (2). In addition, ICIQ was present in social networks, betting on the channels Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

*We only count articles where ICIQ and its researchers are the main subject.