/ Berichte, SNI INSight

Water-related experiments, shimmering chocolate and much more

Menschen treffen sich an SNI-Ständen

At the Rüeblimärt in Aarau, visitors to the SNI stand had the chance not only to win something but also to experiment and learn more about the SNI’s activities. At the ECOC and the Science Days, the focus was on optical experiments. Also schoolchildren were able to experience the exciting properties of water through numerous experiments at a workshop at the Burghalde Museum in Lenzburg.

Over recent months, the SNI’s outreach team has been out and about more than ever before. Barely a week went by without an event where the SNI team shared their fascination with the natural sciences through fascinating examples.

All about water
For example, the SNI delivered several workshops for school classes as part of a collaboration with Museum Burghalde in Lenzburg. Here, pupils had the chance to discover all kinds of facts about water and, above all, to experience its special properties for themselves through a series of experiments.

A special exhibition on energy and water inaugurated by Museum Burghalde this year incorporated a water lab, including numerous experiments, designed by the SNI. We also provided several explanatory videos presenting the special properties of water in an easy-to-understand manner.

A concept with various stations 
At this year’s Science Days at Europa-Park Rust (Germany), numerous visitors were attracted to the SNI stand by glittering chocolate. Specifically, the SNI team used ChocoFoil to produce biscuits known as Basler Leckerli covered with chocolate that shimmered in rainbow colors thanks to a special microstructure.

Once at the stand, children, young people and adults had the chance to learn more about topics such as nanostructures, the lotus effect and ferrofluid at various experiment stations and to win prizes by taking part in a quiz.

Different target groups
This year, the SNI once again had a stand at the Rüeblimärt in Aarau, where the primary objective was to provide visitors to this popular market with information about the nanosciences in general and to highlight the Canton of Aargau’s commitment to this subject area.

In addition, school visits by the SNI team gave numerous pupils the chance to engage with fascinating nanoscience topics. The two outreach managers, Dr. Kerstin Beyer-Hans and Dr. Michèle Wegmann, also delivered courses on atomic force microscopy as part of project days, for example, as well as presenting various nanoscience topics at the TecDays organized by the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW). These school visits were attended by several nanoscience students from the University of Basel, who presented the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in nanosciences, as well as various research projects, and were on hand to discuss and answer any questions about the course.

Teaching staff also benefited from various SNI programs. For example, physics teachers from Thun visited the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of the University of Basel for a program of continuing education where they gained insights into current research in physics through a series of lectures. The SNI’s program at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) also gave numerous pupils a different perspective on the world of optics.

If you’re interested in having the SNI team visit your school or would like to visit laboratories that form part of the SNI network, please contact us at: