“We all stand on the stage of the great world and whatever takes place here, concerns us all.” John Amos Comenius
The quote from the Teacher of Nations introduces a text about the first year of the first semester of the University of the Third Age, which opened for the first time at our faculty.
In the first week of May, a total of 39 students completed their study at U3V in a course combining multiple themes named “Chemistry for Life” in which they learned about the latest findings in chemistry, health and the environment in an entertaining way.
The teachers from the Faculty of Chemical Technology of the University of Pardubice focused on the current environmental issues, presented diverse perspectives on global warming, spoke about the perception of the risks of chemicals with respect to their origin including, for example, the real health risks of applying tattoos. The academics explained the facts and disproved the myths about vaccination, spoke about the immune system and how to keep it fit, and explained the facts behind blood donation. They invited the students on a historical excursion to important European families to learn about monogenic inheritance linked to the genealogy of prominent personalities of our history. They uncovered the complicated life story of Alois Alzheimer up to the latest knowledge about the disease bearing his name. The combination of chemistry and health was reflected in the topic of medical use of transition metals as well as oxidative stress and free radicals. The latest findings of research aimed at early detection of cancer from a drop of blood were presented. The participants were surprised at the broad use of sensors in health care applications. They learned about cytogenetics as a science which is not only about chromosomes, both in theory and practice as part of laboratory exercises which were accepted with enthusiasm and a laboratory task focused on “small home chemistry” in which the students tried fabric dyeing using natural substances and stain removal.
The whole semester was dominated by a very friendly atmosphere between the students and teachers. The goal of the study programme was certainly achieved – supporting mental development in post-productive age, supporting interest in current affairs, practical use of the acquired knowledge and maintaining a constant active approach to life.
U3V “Chemistry for Life” is a place for meeting and establishing new relationships. We believe it will be the same in the future. We are looking forward to meeting the students in the next semester in September this year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the students for their interest in this study programme and all of the teachers for the interesting topics and the time devoted to their presentation in this unusual forum.
Complete photo gallery from laboratories (photo Milan Reinberk)
Doc. Ing. Anna Krejčová, Ph.D.
Guarantor of U3V for FChT