Valentina Jurkas (ESR2) demonstrating the power of biocatalysis
The Team from University of Graz contributed their time and their skills during the "Month of free education" ("Monat der freien Bildung"), which is an initiative promoting the idea that education is for everyone and everywhere. On May 2018, public lectures were held in public places, with the aim to show how important education is for society and what is taught at Styrian universities in general.
To close the month (May 30, 2018), Professor Kroutil was invited to give a lecture in a relaxed atmosphere of Cafe Barista´s at Tummeplatz in Graz. Around 30 people attended the lecture, which are mostly university and high school students. To spice up the lecture, Luca and Valentina were in charge of designing a simple, effective and safe experiment to demonstrate the power of biocatalysis. For the experiment, they prepared hydrogen peroxide solutions of different pH´s, colored by pH indicators and added catalysts to degrade them to water and oxygen which can be easily seen as formation of bubbles. In one colorful experiment, it showed both the power of enzymatic catalysis and one of its main advantages: optimum performance in mild reaction conditions.
"Bringing science out in the everyday was a nice break from the usual lab-office routine."