Little scientists in action again

From 22 to 26 July 2019, a summer science camp was held under the auspices of the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics of the SAS, Polymer Institute of the SAS and All4Science, o.z, where 17 children could try what it's like to be a scientist. Every day was full of adventure. In addition to various games and entertainment, the young scientists worked in team and on their own projects and recognized the institutes of SAS. Young scientists, already divided into groups, chose one of the elements, which they then devoted all the week. They had the choice of sun, water and air. In the following days, the SUN group worked on sundials, light refraction in various environments and on the regularities of optics. The WATER group worked on beneficial bath products, invisible ink and the production of an ecological lava lamp. The AIR group looked at the heat reaction of air in response to temperature, and small scientists also simulated lung action.
There was no opportunity for boredom, because another scientific program was rich and active thanks to Dr. Viliam Pavlík from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, besides smoke, the children enjoyed what they had not experienced in school lessons - explosions. We confess voluntarily and without torture, we tried sugar as an oxidant. Fortunately, we all escaped without consequences. Ing. Miroslav Dobrucký led the children to the Institute of Informatics SAS, where they saw high-performance computers and also talked about Aurel - Slovakia's current most powerful computer. They also visited the Institute of Experimental Oncology BMC SAS, where Dr. Lenka Wachsmannová showed them what is being investigated in their laboratories, children could try themselves application of samples to electrophoretic gel and observe tissue cells under a microscope. With Zuzana Kisová and Dr. Domenico Pangallo of the Institute of Molecular Biology of the SAS started to grow bacteria from their own fingers and learned that mint extract can serve against headache and extract from cloves against toothache. At the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics of SAS, they visited electron microscopy laboratory with Dr. Naďa Beronská, where insects, rose petals and chemical elements were analyzed in a 20-cent coin.
Thanks to the Slovak Red Cross, young scientists have learned how to save lives, fix fractures of the upper limbs and treat various wounds. Together with lecturer Denisa Leštachová from the language school, they played fun games using English. As part of the rest, the children visited the ZOO, built their own dam at the Železná studienka and played an orientation game that led everyone to a generous treasure.
The summer day camp culminated on 26 July 2019 with a final conference for parents, grandparents and siblings, so participants had the opportunity to try present the results of their week-long project research for the first time to the public. At the same time, they became the youngest popularizers of science in Slovakia.
Text and photo: Alena Šišková, Martin Nosko, Naďa Beronská