On Sunday 4 October, it was finally time for a new edition of Zpannend Zernike. No less than 1325 children and adults visited the Bernoulliborg and the rest of Zernike for an introduction to the science of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
A whole range of activities took place in the Bernoulliborg, where Science LinX acted as the host. Visitors of all ages were invited to take part in various experiments, like making lactose-free milk, isolating DNA from a strawberry, making bubble tea bubbles, and the ‘soap and virus’ experiment, with the help of students. In the latter experiment, students from the University of Groningen’s iGEM team visualized how the use of soap can help to combat viruses. Visitors first sprinkled ground pepper in a cup of water. Next, they put their finger in the ‘contaminated’ water, after which the finger came out covered in ‘virus particles’. They repeated this step, only now they had to dip their finger into dishwashing soap before putting it in the ‘contaminated’ water. This time, the pepper particles floated away from the finger, meaning the ‘virus’ had been repelled.
Some of the experiments were so popular that people had to form a queue to await their turn, for example in the case of making toothpaste or fragrant shampoo. In addition to trying out experiments, people could also entertain themselves with Science LinX’s evolutionary building blocks GEN:ERATE, or with crafts like folding paper cubes and creating beautiful drawings.
Inbetween the Bernoulliborg and the Physics and Chemistry building, the Science truck was parked. Inside, PhD students performed a flashy spectacle with their high-voltage experiment, in which they showed ‘living threads’ of metal balls, brought to life by an electric current. The balls moved around in a Petri dish and formed a spiderweb-like pattern of threads.
The visitors, even the youngest, all had a great time. Hanne's highlight of the day, for example, was making chocolate bonbons. During this activity, children got to decorate their own bonbons while food designer Marjolein Triesscheijn challenged them to explore what kinds of snacks we might eat in the future. Hanne chose to stick with chocolate sprinkles for her decoration. Saar, however, took on the challenge and picked a combination of sprinkles, mealworms, and even a cricket!
(Text: Myrna Kooij)
The organization of Zpannend Zernike also made a video report of the day which you can see here:
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