On Saturday, 6 October, Amsterdam University College once again turned over the building to student initiative Jeugdlab for the Amsterdam Science Park Open Day. Part of the nationwide “Weekend of Science” ( Weekend van de Wetenschap) in the Netherlands, the Open Day at Amsterdam Science Park is a joint venture between AMOLF, ARCNL, AUC, CWI, Nikhef, SURFsara and the UvA Faculty of Science.
For this edition of the Open Day, the institutes at Science Park opened their doors to show the research, initiatives and work they do to the broader public in a festive manner with regard to sustainability.
This year’s theme was “Sustainability” and encouraged visitors to think about human impact not only in the macro sense such as climate change, but also in more relatable terms such as the use of solar energy in homes and being more aware of eco-friendly food products and packaging.
Ranging from fun experiments and crafts to more serious lectures and demonstrations, the programme of Amsterdam Science Park Open Day sought to address various aspects of sustainability and reveal how the, at times abstract, research conducted at Science Park is gradually incorporated into our daily lives through devices, software, technology, ideas and more.
In the AUC academic building, Jeugdlab developed a programme for children aged 5-14 that spanned three floors and included cooking demonstrations, interactive storytelling and experiments. The activities encouraged children and their parents to engage with scientific ideas related to sustainability in creative and interactive ways. This included cooking vegan veggie burgers with ingredients that may have otherwise been considered waste, telling visual stories using recycled materials and highlighting properties of re-use through science experiments.
Running since 2013, Jeugdlab has continued to be one of the successful examples of initiatives founded and entirely managed by AUC students. Their continuity and diversity of activities they organise are a testament to the students’ dedication to increasing enthusiasm for the sciences among local children. Offered at no cost to participants, Jeugdlab runs workshops two days a week under three branches at the neighbouring Jeugdland: Sciencelab, Leeshuis and Kooklab. Each of the three focuses on a different type of activity, with Sciencelab focusing on experiments, Leeshuis on reading and creative storytelling, and Kooklab on the importance nutrition.
Each year, the Amsterdam Science Park Open Day continues to see visitors coming from both near and far to get to know what is happening behind the scenes at some of the nation’s most advanced research institutes. As the diversity of activities continues to grow, so does the number of volunteers and enthusiasm of the visitors. You can read more about Amsterdam Science Park and the Open Day via the link below.