Austrian ORF Long Night of Museums

On the 5th of October, the Austrian ORF Long Night of Museums, took place. At this public event, museums in Vienna are opening for the night and visitors are able to visit participating museums with one single ticket. Besides the normal exhibitions, there are several events taking place over the night. The SPIE/OSA Student Chapter of the Medical University of Vienna participated with a 3D printed demonstrator device. Fabian assisted with explanations and introductions to Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and different projects at the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, including the endoscope development in the framework of the FBI-project.

All visitors were interested in the principle and the application of the OCT. Answering engaging questions and raising interest in biomedical imaging all members of the SPIE/OSA Student Chapter welcomed around 1,500 visitors. Besides observing a printing 3D printer, the visitors experienced the OCT on samples like bone, muscle, fruits or leaves. Additionally to the knowledge about OCT and its application, the visitors got the OCT sample depth scans as a printout.

All in all, it was an outstanding event and advertisement for the exciting research field of Optical Coherence Tomography and its applications.

Click the video below for some impressions.

Bringing science closer to children

Science is gaining an essential role in everyday life. But when to start to get people in contact with science? The answer is: childhood. The KinderUni in Vienna is an opportunity for 7 to 12 years old children to explore the university and its life. The motto: We turn the university upside down!

Jeremias and Fabian participated within the student chapter at the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering to show experiments and principles in the field of optics and imaging. How is milk in water a model for cataract? How do we use mirrors and pinholes to align an optical setup? What does a spectrometer do? Why are we fooled by optical illusions? These and even more questions were answered within 5 different stations we set up for the visit of 30 children at our center.

Fabian and Jeremias in the lab with the setup for the hands-on experiments holding the certificate.

Were we able to explain optics and other connections to children in a way that they learn something and are curious about more things? For Fabian and Jeremias it was important to practice their explanations and experiments beforehand, to have a feeling of speed, depth and wording.
It was a pleasure to see all the children listening to the things we explained and the enthusiasm at the hands-on experiments. Most exciting was seeing the children building up their own connection, as one girl put it: “a cataract, it’s like when laser travels through milk, less light reaches the other side”.
As soon as the children completed a station, they received a certificate with stickers. Looking at the children standing proudly with their certificate and the handouts at the end of the day in the large seminar room was satisfaction enough for us. For us it is clear, that we are participating again at the KinderUni 2019: Maybe with more children, maybe with more complex experiments. Fabian and Jeremias are thankful for the opportunity.

Certificate for the children. The 5 stickers represent the accomplishment of the 5 different stations.