In the last two decades an increasing low enrollment of students in chemistry teaching in secondary schools has been observed. On one hand, because of the negative connotation of chemistry, associated with toxicity and on the other, that the teaching of this discipline is exclusively carried out only in a theoretical classroom environment with a practical/experimental component almost non-existent, although chemistry is an experimental science. This has been reflected in chemistry degrees throughout the country´s universities, which in the application process for each academic year, ended up by never completing the number of vacancies that are offered.
Considering that the pedagogical mission of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the New University of Lisbon (FCT/UNL), in particular its Department of Chemistry (DQ-FCT/UNL), aims to contribute to the human, scientific and technical development of students a project has been developed in the last nine years in order to offer to high school students a unique opportunity to arouse in them the interest in science, chemistry in particular and encouraging them the joy of curiosity, while at the same time conferring the necessary skills for their future activity as students of higher education or in the labor market. It is also in close contact with students that method, discipline, and intellectual honesty are transmitted and cultivated. The aim of this project was to promote the study and taste for Chemistry, through experimental activities, of the High School Education programs of students of the discipline of Physical Chemistry for 10th and 11th year and of the 12th Year (compulsory high school degree to apply to University) of Chemistry.
For the academic year 2016/17 the DQ-FCT/UNL will receive, from October to May more than 1900 student visits from eleven High Schools distributed among Physical Chemistry for 10th and 11th year for a practical activity each and of the 12th Year of Chemistry for 10 practical activities. During 70 practical sessions of 2.5 hours each, with an average attendance of 28 students, the number of higher education school teachers involved are 20. Each high school class will be accompained by 1 teacher who’s also proactively contribute to the practical session. The practical session is executed in groups of 2/3 members, and the laboratories have a capacity of 24 to 48 according to the necessities. A quality questionnaire is filled by the students in order to monitor the action. In 2015/16, 63 % of the students answered the questionaire where more than 90% where very satisfied with the action.
This project has already been implemented for 9 years reflecting a growing collaboration between FCT/UNL and high schools. Above all, it has allowed most of these schools to continue to open chemistry classes of the 12th year. Actually, in the first year of the initiative, many of these schools did not have enough students to open chemistry classes for the 12th year. After the first initiative, almost all high schools have been able to maintain open 12th year chemistry classes. On the other hand, FCT/UNL, in particular the Applied Chemistry course, has been able to fill 100% of the vacancies available in the first phase of the application, which is not the case for other higher education schools in Portugal for the same domain - Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEDULEARN17 Proceedings
Place of PublicationBarcelona
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 3 Jul 20175 Jul 2017


Conference9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies


  • High schools-secondary schools
  • Experiments
  • Laboratories
  • Chemistry.


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