SNI supports summer camps

The proud researchers present the DNA they had isolated from bananas.

Several groups from the SNI network supported the one-week UniKidsCamp held in the summer holidays by the University of Basel. Michael Steinacher of the Department of Physics and his team led an activity in which the children tried their hand at designing and soldering a dexterity game.

Under the guidance of the group led by Argovia Professor Roderick Lim of the Biozentrum, the young scientists isolated banana DNA and made ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Dr. Kerstin Beyer-Hans of the SNI showed the children how to generate electricity from everyday objects. Together, they built batteries from copper coins and acids, experimenting with acid obtained from a range of fruits and vegetables.

These and other activities gave the 40 children attending the camp a glimpse into the fascinating world of research and technology at the University of Basel’s Faculty of Philosophy and Natural Sciences, with plenty of excursions, games and fun into the bargain.

The Rodersdorf summer camp was another opportunity for children to spend an afternoon devoted to creative research, putting everyday objects to scientific use in a playful setting. Fully kitted out by the SNI, the children assembled funny hats decorated with flashing LEDs with the help of nanoscience master’s student Till Ryser. The electricity to power the lights came from batteries made by the children themselves.