May 22, 2017

A Storm of Visitors at the 2017 Open Campus Day

Nearly 2,000 science enthusiasts visited IST Austria last Sunday, despite the cool weather. A research exhibition, a family science lecture, laboratory tours, and a variety of activities for children made for an exciting afternoon, and visitors enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on campus.

On Sunday, IST Austria held its annual Open Campus day for the ninth time, and opened its doors to children and adults of all ages interested in science. IST Austria President Tom Henzinger’s welcoming words and the opening ceremony in the Raiffeisen Lecture Hall were followed by the announcement of the School Contest winners. The theme of this year’s contest was “Ideas of today for the world of tomorrow”. Students between 6 and 19 years old were invited to submit their innovative ideas in the form of drawings, short texts, or research project proposals, depending on their age. The President of the Lower Austrian School Board, Johann Heuras, who represented the Governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leiter, as well as City Councilman Roland Honeder presented the certificates and congratulated the awardees, whose work was selected from over 250 entries.

After the awards ceremony, IST Austria professor and computer scientist Bernd Bickel wowed the audience with the possibilities for 3D-printing during the family science lecture, and many children tested their knowledge during the quiz at the end of the talk. They could even take 3D-printed tops and action figures home with them!

The booked-out laboratory tours not only gave participants the chance see into the world of fruit flies, they could view cells, atoms, and other building blocks of life, and even nanoparticles through the Institute’s microscopes…and all that during just one of the many tours offered throughout the day! Visitors could also take a self-guided tour through the research exhibition, where they explored impossible forms, higher dimensions, and God’s algorithm. Also on display were the power of evolution and questions about the brain that are still baffling researchers. IST Austria professors, post-docs, graduate students, and interns were on hand to explain their research and engage the public in a variety of hands-on activities. An engrossing children’s program, and a diverse culinary offering rounded out the event, and many visitors remained late into the afternoon.

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