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Zpannend Zernike: science festival for young and old

Listen to lectures, watch demonstrations and even do your own experiments at Weekend van de Wetenschap (Science Weekend)
21 September 2016
Zpannend Zernike

How does the brain work? Why are children better at Memory than adults? What does it feel like to be old and have difficulty walking, seeing or hearing? What does DNA look like? Can you virtually swim with dolphins? Ever seen a robot dance to Michael Jackson?

The weekend of 1-2 October is Weekend van de Wetenschap in the Netherlands. Groningen has put together a very diverse programme going by the name of Zpannend Zernike, after Professor Frits Zernike who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1953. Come to the centre of Groningen on the Saturday or the Zernike Campus on the Sunday for lectures, demonstrations, experiments and answers to those questions you always wanted to ask. Everyone is welcome from 12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m. Admission is free.

Saturday 1 October

Come to the Academy Building for lectures by Douwe Draaisma (‘Why are children better at Memory?’), Petra Hendriks (‘Idioms in language’) and more. Bart Eggen and Wilbert Kolkman will give the ‘grandparent-grandchild’ lectures, and young researchers will present the astonishing results of their research in the Science Café. There will be guided tours of the building and lectures on Frits Zernike, and the nearby University Museum will have an exciting activity trail for children. Or play with optical illusions in the lab.

For the first time UMCG/ERIBA on Antonius Deusinglaan is taking part in Zpannend Zernike, with a fun programme on the topic of ‘Healthy Ageing’. Also making its debut is De Jonge Onderzoekers: the coolest technology and science workshop for the youth of Groningen. Or you can head for the ‘Jouw Energie van Morgen’ (Your Future Energy) truck at the Ossenmarkt, where you can build a light without a battery.

Sunday 2 October

The Zernike Campus is the setting for Zpannend Zernike on Sunday. Dive into the fascinating world of physics, technology and energy. Doing and discovering for yourself is the main theme of the activities. Make your own shampoo or gel, drift away in the mobile planetarium, dance with a robot, build your own galaxy or space probe, make a slush puppy or come up with the prototype for a game in the Game Design room. And again there’s an exciting activity trail.

The participating organizations are: the KVI Centre for Advanced Radiation Technology, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Bernoulliborg/Science LinX), EnTranCe (Energy Transition Centre of Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and Energy Academy Europe), EnergyBarn and Magneet (the do and discover centre in Brugsmaborg). And the ‘Jouw Energie van Morgen’ truck will be there once again.

More information

For a full list of the activities visit

Last modified:25 October 2022 11.55 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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