World of experience for inquisitive children and adults

This year, the SNI once again returned to Germany’s oldest science festival, the Science Days at Europa-Park in Rust, joining 85 exhibitors from Germany and beyond. The spotlight this time was on the subject of “humans”.

The popular SNI stand gave visitors insights into how innovative microscopes are aiding research into human beings and helping to diagnose diseases. The focus was on the atomic force microscope, which is now used to film biological nanomachines at work, display chemical bonds, and diagnose malignant tumors. The many children and adults who came along had the opportunity to make a simple wooden model of an AFM to help them better understand the principle behind this special microscope.


“We received a huge amount of positive feedback. Although this year’s hands-on activity was fairly technical, interest remained high,” said Dr. Kerstin Beyer-Hans of the SNI following the three Science Days. This success is all down to the team of 12 students and SNI colleagues along with Kerstin’s perfect planning and preparation. As well as selecting a topic and making it suitable for children, she also had to make sure that even young visitors would be able to create a functioning AFM model. To prepare for the more than 300 models created over the three days, Kerstin cut 1,200 small blocks, drilled 1,200 holes, sewed many meters of material and Velcro tape, and broke three sewing machine needles!