Activities for children with a keen interest

Every year, the fall season is packed with SNI activities specifically aimed at children and young people. For example, the SNI’s appearance at the Science Days at Europa-Park Rust has been a standard fixture for a number of years. The Future Day in November and various TecDays are also ideal opportunities for pupils to gain a better understanding of the natural sciences.

At this year’s Science Days, the SNI stand was dedicated to the subject of DNA. Weeks beforehand, Dr. Kerstin Beyer-Hans and Sandra Hüni had planned, tested and purchased materials with a view to offering another new interactive program at this year’s event.

As a result, visitors attending the Science Days were given a number of small colored beads in order to make their own DNA model. The model was then used to decorate a picture frame containing a selfie – taken either alone or with their friends or parents. In the process, the children learned that their hereditary make-up is stored on DNA, as well as discovering how this molecule is structured and that – at the DNA level – we’re not that different from either Albert Einstein or chimpanzees.

In November, the SNI took part in the Future Day together with the Department of Physics. A total of 24 children signed up for this year’s event, which was themed around Light and Microscopes. Following an introductory talk, the children had the opportunity to see how an atomic force microscope works and to build a wooden model of the device. They also used a self-built spectrometer to separate white light into its spectral colors – and had the chance to practice their soldering skills. Specifically, they built an unusual LED-illuminated Christmas decoration that required them to solder five connections – which can be quite a tricky task, as the kids soon learned.

A short video clip provides an insight into activities at the Future Day: