This year, Groningen has the honour of hosting the national celebrations for the King’s birthday, and King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the city on 27 April. The municipality, province and Orange Society aim to showcase the city and the surrounding region to millions of viewers. This is an organizational challenge that involves active cooperation with the University of Groningen as the Royal Family will also be visiting the Broerstraat and the Academy square on their
2-hour walking tour
of the city.
Board member Lieke Knip of KEI, the committee that organizes the annual introduction week for first-year students, will guide the royal couple through the Broerstraat. At the corner of the Oude Boteringestraat, they will meet Topsport Groningen, where students from the top athlete programmes of the UG, Hanze UAS, Noorderpoort and the Alfa College will be presenting themselves in a sporty setting.
After this, the steps of the Academy Building will set the scene for a mini-lecture on molecular motors by Professor Ben Feringa’s international research group, including, of course, the Nobel Prizewinner himself. On Wednesday 11 April
a short film
on social media already announced that the Netherlands would be introduced to nanoscience. In this film, Feringa states that #MijnGroningen (My Groningen), the municipal campaign slogan, should really be #OnsGroningen (Our Groningen). His international team of postdocs and PhD students performs groundbreaking research in the laboratories of the Faculty of Science and Engineering on the Zernike Campus.
After this lecture, the King and Queen will continue their tour into the Oude Kijk in’t Jatstraat, where they will be introduced to another aspect of studying in Groningen: student life. A large student choir will sing for them there, accompanied by Auke de Boer on the Academy Building carillon.
The UG will be present at yet another location: the Martinikerkhof square. On this ‘Childrens’ Square’, the UG will set up a Childrens’ University, where intelligent robots, developed by Professor Ming Cao, will perform a special dance. The robots are capable of communicating with each other completely autonomously, which allows them to perform complex tasks together, turning them into collaborative robots! This technology is often applied in self-driving cars. Pupils from primary school the Eexterbasisschool in Scheemda will be giving the demonstrations.
The Young Academy Groningen, together with ScienceLinx and the UG Pre-University Academy, will host the Knowledge is King! side event in the Harmonie square. Between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., after the royal walking tour, adults and children can participate in various activities and experiments on, for instance, the origin of the universe or a flair for languages.
Preparations for 27 April are in full swing. For updates, please check the official Groningen 2018 King’s Day website:
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