May 27, 2019
IST Austria held research festival to celebrate 10th anniversary
More than 2000 people visited IST Austria’s Open Campus
The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) held its Open Campus last Sunday to celebrate its 10th anniversary with more than 2000 visitors. After the opening speech by Lower Austrian Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner and the welcoming words by IST Austria President Tom Henzinger, a huge birthday cake was sliced for the visitors. Scientific topics could be explored at various research stations, ranging from evolutionary biology to brain research and cells to mathematical models. As part of the opening ceremony, the winners of the school competition were also honored. Governor Mikl-Leitner praised IST Austria as “a unique success story that turned Lower Austria into a unique place for science.” IST Austria President Tom Henzinger was glad about the numerous visitors: „It is great to see that just as the number of the Institute’s staff has increased from 37 to more than 700 over the previous years, so does the interest in the Open Campus grow from year to year.”
The highlight of this year’s Open Campus was a 10-meter pool filled with starch flour that allowed walking over water or, more precisely, a non-Newtonian fluid. The family lecture “met with great interest. Sven Truckenbrodt und Julia Michalska, postdocs in Johann Danzl’s research group, explained how microscopes work, and showed exciting images of cells that are the buildings blocks of the human body. The science comedy by Vince Ebert was also very entertaining. With about 500 people registering, all guided tours to labs and scientific service units were completely booked out. Young visitors had a lot of fun: children collected stamps for their researcher’s passport at the research stations and participated in the “ice cream quiz”. A digital scavenger hunt was also offered this year. Teams of up to three people solved tricky science puzzles. The three winning teams won a helicopter flight, an indoor skydiving tour and a VR racing challenge. All in all, the Open Campus last Sunday proved a successful research festival for families.