July 17, 2017

150 students from the Vienna Children’s University visit IST Austria

IST Austria opens its doors to the Vienna Children’s University for the first time | Excursion fully booked

Participants of the first excursion of the Vienna Children’s University to IST Austria. Image credit: Kinderbüro/Joseph Krpelan

Why is one ant different from another? How do animals adjust to different habitats like the desert, water, or the jungle, and why do they have different appearances? These were the questions that were explored last Friday during the Vienna Children’s University’s first excursion to IST Austria.

Since its opening in 2009, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Klosterneuburg has been dedicated to basic research in the fields of biology, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, and computer science. In addition, the Institute has engaged in a variety of science communication and outreach activities. Now, for the first time, IST Austria took part in the Vienna Children’s University, offering a half-day excursion filled with activities and presentations. With about 150 children from Tulln and Vienna in attendance, the event was fully booked.

In Matthias Fürst’s lecture, the young researchers learned how diversity in the animal world develops and about the tricks ants use to survive even the most challenging environmental conditions. In the workshop that followed—called the dragon lab—students built on what they had learned in the lecture to “breed” diversity and test the advantages and disadvantages of their dragons in a joint game, deepening their knowledge and understanding of evolution. 

In 2003, the first children conquered the university. Today—15 years later—the Vienna Children’s University is one of the largest science education projects in Europe, with more than 4'000 participating kids, 600 contributing scientists, and about 450 lectures every year. IST Austria joined as a partner for the first time this year…and is already looking forward to the next!