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.