Can you explain what osmosis is?

Clara: "Osmosis is a diffusion phenomenon in which the less concentrated solution dilutes the more concentrated solution to reach a concentration balance on both sides of the biological wall.

How do you explain complex scientific concepts in a simplified way?

Collyne: "In this case, the main objective was to use a simple vocabulary and avoid using overly technical terms in order to popularise the phenomenon of osmosis. The only really technical term we used was osmosis. For the rest, we were content with words such as "crossing" or "wall", which are words that speak to everyone. We chose osmosis as a topic because it is a scientific phenomenon that is not too complex and therefore understandable for secondary 5 and 6 students.

She continues: "We first dealt with the topic theoretically and then we did a demonstration showing the phenomenon of diffusion. We also did two experiments, one showing what you would expect and a second showing the reality.

What difficulty(s) did you encounter?

Clara: "It was not easy with the language barrier in the sense that we had to concentrate on pronunciation, as well as popularising correctly in English. For me, it was not an easy exercise.

Finally, what did you learn from this?

For Clara: "It was a great experience! We challenged ourselves by overcoming the language barrier. I also found it interesting to see behind the scenes at the university and the studio where our lab videos were shot.

Collyne agrees: "I thought it was great! I really like making videos and editing so I really enjoyed the exercise beyond working on my English. I like being in front of a camera and making animations but it's true that you have to be comfortable.

Who joined Collyne and Clara on the podium?

The video "Sexual selection" by biology students Mai-Lan Teng and Cédric Semaire took second place, while third place went to biology students Charlotte Debacq and Lauryne Blondeau with their video "Genotypes-Phenotypes". Finally, the student with the fastest linguistic progress received a Rocket Award and Benoît Schmitz (Geography student) won.

To carry out the exercise, the students were not left to their own devices and were able to benefit from the help of their teachers, as Charlotte Debacq points out: "To teach us how to popularize a text, our teachers helped us a lot by making us watch videos of this type in class and by giving us various techniques. We really imagined that we were telling it to a child or to someone who was not interested in science. So we used simple words and re-explained was had already been learned." Each pair approached their topic differently with different approaches. Collyne and Clara carried out demonstrations and experiments, Cédric and Mai-Lan explained their subject with the help of a concrete example. Charlotte and Lauryne used illustrations to make their subject understandable.

Discover the "It's not Rocket Science" project developed by Natassia Schutz and Aude Hansel, English teachers in the Department of Modern Languages at UNamur