September 5, 2017

A summer of science for elementary school children and teenagers

Summer break programs at IST Austria very popular | Both “Sommercampus” and “Top Models in Science” were a success

School has begun again for the children and teenagers who took part in the summer programs at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), but the good memories remain. During the fourth “Sommercampus”, 60 children explored research and science at IST Austria, each participant having selected one out of four different topics to focus on for the week. This year, the tracks were physics, biology, computer science, and, thanks to a collaboration with the Museum Gugging, also arts. The young researchers studied the invisible forces that make arrows fly in parabolas, observed the building blocks of life under microscopes, programmed their own computer games, and created pieces of art. Students of the Pädagogische Hochschule Niederösterreich supervised the children during their activities.

The end of “Sommercampus” was marked by an exhibition set up by the children themselves, who also explained what they learned to parents, IST Austria scientists, and members of the community. The children received their diplomas during the solemn graduation ceremony that followed.

Not long after the end of the elementary school children’s science week, a new event began: “Top Models in Science”, which was organized as part of the “Talentesommer”. The Niederösterreichische Begabtenakademie, in collaboration with IST Austria and the municipality of Klosterneuburg, offered a diverse and challenging program. During the three-day program, a group of talented students aged 11-15 learned to use mathematical and computer models to understand phenomena and approach problems. The students created templates for 3D-printing, performed experiments, and solved mathematical puzzles.

After series of presentations by the students, this event also concluded with a graduation ceremony, with city councilor Maria-Theresia Eder handing over the diplomas.

“Sommercampus” was funded by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, supported by the Abteilung Wissenschaft und Forschung Niederösterreich, organized together with the Museum Gugging, and developed and realized in close cooperation with the Pädagogische Hochschule Niederösterreich. The event “Top Models in Science”, in the framework of the “Talentesommer”, was a cooperation with the Niederösterreichische Begabtenakademie.

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