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June 13, 2024

“Can’t sleep, must run experiments”

2,000 young and older guests visit the ISTA Open Campus 2024

Experiencing science and meeting researchers was once again possible this year at the Open Campus of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA). On Sunday, June 9, around 2,000 visitors, young and old alike, flocked to the campus in Klosterneuburg. Also on show for the first time: HUMAN – MODEL – WORLD, an exhibition of fascinating scientific images.

ISTA Open Campus 2024
People of all ages flocked to the ISTA campus in Klosterneuburg. © Anna Stöcher/ISTA

“I loved my first ISTA Open Campus, it was amazing! Thanks so much to everyone! Only downside: My 6-year-old is now refusing to go to sleep, because he says he has experiments to run.” As a research center, when you get feedback like this after an event from parents of children who have immersed themselves in the world of science on campus, then you know you have done something right. However, the Open Campus 2024 was also very popular with adults, as another visitor stated: “I don’t have children and tend to avoid these children’s events, but this is so great – and exactly what we need in Austria with its skepticism towards science!”

ISTA Open Campus 2024
Scientists explaining their research during one of the lab tours. © Anna Stöcher/ISTA

Very popular: 38 guided tours through 12 different labs

These are two voices from two thousand visitors who attended the biggest science party of the year, the ISTA Open Campus 2024, last Sunday. Among other things, there were many hands-on stations to experience science and experiment for yourself. Enthusiastic crowds were eager to watch the beloved Crazy Science Show, which took place twice this time, as well as the 38 guided tours through twelve different laboratories and research facilities. During the opening ceremony, the winners of the ISTA school competition “We are ScientISTA!” were honored for their innovative VWA (Vorwissenschaftliche Arbeit; high school thesis) or diploma thesis in the STEM field.

ISTA Open Campus 2024
Crazy Science Show in the Raiffeisen Lecture Hall of ISTA. © Anna Stöcher/ISTA

Lots of support from external partners – and from the weather

A large children’s program was put together by VISTA Science Experiences, ISTA’s science education team, as well as external partners such as the Lower Austrian Sound Artists (NÖ Tonkünstler), the Gugging Museum, the scouts, and the Maria Gugging volunteer fire department. And to ensure that not only the mind but also the body was fed, there were nine different trucks with international delicacies and drinks.

ISTA Open Campus 2024
An extensive children’s program was organized by VISTA Science Experiences in collaboration with external partners. © Anna Stöcher/ISTA

The weather was also kind to the organizers and visitors. Although rain was forecast and some stations were cautiously moved indoors in advance, it began to drizzle only a few minutes after the official end of the program at 6 pm.

Exhibition with images of science opened

During the Open Campus, the pop-up exhibition ‘HUMAN – MODEL – WORLD: A collection of scientific images‘ was also opened to the public for the first time – including half-hourly guided tours. The collection reflects the diversity of research and blurs the boundaries between scientific observation, documentation, and the image as the focus of scientific investigation. From artificial organ-like microstructures used in medical research to clusters of galaxies at the edge of the universe, the images are loosely grouped into the areas of HUMAN – MODEL – WORLD.

ISTA Open Campus 2024
Visitors explored the pop-up exhibition ‘HUMAN – MODEL – WORLD: A Collection of Scientific Images’. © Anna Stöcher/ISTA

There are further opportunities to see the exhibition on July 1, 17:00-18:00 and on July 5, 15:00-16:00. Please reserve in advance through For larger groups (from 15 people on) there is the possibility to request an additional time slot.


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