Science up close at Adlershof Technology Park
At long last, the “Long Night of the Sciences” could take place once again
Thousands of visitors flocked to the “Long Night of the Sciences”, which took place on 2 July in Berlin and Potsdam.
The fact that the Science and Technology Park Adlershof again was once again one of the crowd pullers this year was particularly pleasing to Silvana Schneider, who organised the mega event in Berlin’s southeast. “After a forced two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, during which we could only open the doors of laboratories, lecture halls, and development offices virtually, we are more than happy to finally host a face-to-face event,” says WISTA Management GmbH’s event manager.
Week-long preparations precede this discovery tour of Adlershof. “My gratitude goes to the institute’s organisers, who invested so much enthusiasm and created amazing hands-on activities and events,” says Schneider. With well over 100 items on the itinerary, visitors could look over the shoulders of researchers, listen to exciting lectures, join in discussions, and, of course, experiment themselves.
Children and teenagers could, for example, go on a science rally through the world of optical sciences and quantum technologies, play a round of laser chess, or get their hands dirty growing their own crystals, taking heat selfies, or building insect hotels with old packaging. Quiz fans could crack some tough mathematical nuts during a round of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”. At the German Aerospace Center, explorers could drive down a road to space. History buffs got an opportunity for a guided tour looking at the area’s history of aviation. Others took a tour of BESSY II, the electron storage ring, to find out how Berlin’s brightest lamp is used to investigate materials, works of art, or cells.
One of the highlights was a spectacular appearance of NOX the Robot. This 2.4-metre-high giant is a humanoid high-tech robot that was cheered along for his spoken word and dance show in front of Forum Adlershof and later posed for numerous souvenir photos. He also made an appearance at the opening of Berlin’s smartest night together with Berlin’s governing mayor, Franziska Giffey. The venue of the central opening ceremony is chosen based on the current chair of the Long Night supporting association. Since this position is currently held by Professor Ulrich Panne, president of the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and speaker of the IGAFA Joint Initiative of Non-University Research Institutes in Adlershof, the balloons of knowledge took to the sky in Adlershof.
In addition to fulfilling an obligation for transparency of research facilities and demonstrating to the taxpayers what their money is used for, the event also serves to recruit new talent. The Science City Adlershof currently boasts around 1,000 apprentices. Many of them presented their apprenticeship opportunities at the Long Night. About a dozen girls gained insights into the everyday life of researchers at an exclusive student tour for girls.
“Fun and comedy was also all around in Adlershof,” says Silvana Schneider, who organised the science night for the first time. However, Schneider has already organised several science slams, such as the one at the end of the Long Night, where young researchers compete to win over the audience by presenting their research topics in a witty and humorous way in only 10 minutes. The next Science Slam Adlershof will take place on 1 December 2022.
Sylvia Nitschke for POTENZIAL