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EMBL, Europe’s flagship laboratory for basic research in the life sciences and SAP brought together pupils, their teachers, research scientists and technology experts at a joint workshop in Heidelberg last week to bridge the gap between science and business by creating innovative educational resources. From October 7 – 8 a two-days’ workshop was held at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg on big data in the area of life sciences for more than 40 high school pupils.

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On Monday, the workshop kicked off with several presentations about the European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS). Throughout the afternoon, the pupils got insights into bioinformatics and genome research and attended a guided tour to the research departments such as the laboratory for genome sequencing and the fish house.

The second day focused on the Design Thinking methodology where the students had to solve challenges from the life science domain. The first challenge focused on the development of a serious game that visualizes Big Data from the life sciences. The next one dealt with the creation of an mobile learn app on molecular biology. Volunteer computing was set as the topic for the third challenge and the students had to find a scenario where interested persons can support a “Big Data” life science project by providing their computer performance. During the whole day the groups went through all of the Design Thinking processes and came up with really impressive concepts and ideas. At the end of the workshop all of the groups presented their prototypes to the audience.

Thanks to all participants for their great contributions, creative ideas and motivation.

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