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10/04/12

250 junior scientists at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung

250 junior scientists at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung

 

On Wednesday, 3rd of October, the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung invited children at the age of 8 to 11 to visit the institute. This event was organized by the “Sendung mit der Maus”, a popular German children’s program. More than 250 children came to the institute from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and made some experiments. The scientists and employees were happy to help them. The participation was free of charge.

The children learned something about the colours in black felt pens and about the smell of fruits. They also learned to use laboratory tools like pipettes and scales, for example. They wrote letters with “magic ink” (lemon juice) and built molecules with molecule building sets to understand their structure.

The employees of the institute also introduced liquid nitrogen. The children enjoyed working on this element very much – especially when the cold liquid is used to make ice cream, which they did.
Most of the children were accompanied by their parents or other relatives. And while the small guests were doing experiments the adults went to the “parents’ corner” and read posters and magazines about the research at our institute.

With this program the institute wanted to get children interested in chemistry, even if they haven’t learned about chemistry in school yet. This was a little experiment for all volunteers as well, because it was done for the first time.