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January 11, 2017

Not too young to be a researcher - kids@science at the Biozentrum

Again, for the sixth time, the Biozentrum of the University of Basel is opening its labs to the young participants of the study week kids@science, a program organized by the foundation “Schweizer Jugend forscht”. Over four days, boys and girls from throughout the whole of the German-speaking region of Switzerland slip into the role of a research scientist and embark on an adventurous voyage to discover science.


The kids@science study week at the University of Basel, introduced in 2008, is very popular among the young researchers. This year, some 120 school children have applied to participate. At the end of January, 81 will receive an insight into research in five departments at the University of Basel, where both nine boys and nine girls will get a taste of research life at the Biozentrum.

In the research groups led by Prof. Stephan Grzesiek, Prof. Tilman Schirmer and Prof. Erik van Nimwegen, the young scientists can follow the trail of molecules, observe cells under the microscope und and let DNA race on self-made gels. They will learn how proteins look like and what they are good for, and where do the differences between individuals come from. The Swiss Nanoscience Institute’s Nano Imaging Lab once again provides glimpses into the miniscule world - the microcosm. On the scanning electron microscope there are images waiting to be made of hair or pollen, making the unseen visible.  And last, but not least, each participant can try their hand at isolating their individual genetic information to take this most personal piece of themselves home in a double helix ornament. At the public closing event, the budding researchers will present their research work to a large audience of all those interested in the lecture hall at the Physics Institute and a poster exhibition.

The kids@science study week aims to promote the interest of children and young adults in science and engineering at an early age. The focus is on 10 to 13 year olds, as at this age, the girls and boys are still open and unbiased in regard to their future career perspectives.

Contact: Communications, Katrin Bühler