BRINGING SCIENCE CLOSER TO PUBLIC

Last month Maksim and Igor participated in outreach to the public within the Open Door event at EPFL. The focus was to explain to the public why studying lipid membrane and water is important. After all, the membrane is the shield of every living cell and water is the major content. And what better way to explain than starting with Marshmallows. In their first experiment, they showed what happens to Marshmallows when you put them in vacuum – Marshmallows grow! This is because there are many small air bubbles that expand in the absence of atmospheric pressure. Kids loved it! Especially the eating part.

In their second experiment, they demonstrated a simple laser light scattering through different samples. While simple water showed no specific scattering pattern, emulsions like milk, salad dressing, or yogurt showed characteristic speckle pattern. With this simplified demonstration setup, they were able to explain the principle of how they do science in the laboratory

Lastly, an interesting experiment of liquid water freezing upon pouring out in a glass bowl. This water contained no minerals, which are usually the nucleation centers for freezing. Therefore, they could cool this water to -10 degrees Celsius without freezing. Once the water was poured in the glass bowl, the impact and impurities on the bowl surface served as nucleation centers, so the water turned into ice immediately. This outreach to public was very fruitful and successful. Close to 40 000 people attended the EPFL Open Door event.