Playful science at the castle in Smolenice

After a year, we found ourselves back in Smolenice. On May 18, 2024, thanks to 4 SAS institutes, the courtyard of Smolenice Castle was transformed into a unique traveling laboratory. This was the second year of the Playful Science event, a one-of-a-kind initiative aimed at popularizing science among children, held at Smolenice Castle.
The May sun timidly peeked out from behind the last clouds of the previous day, and the morning preparations in the picturesque courtyard of the castle, with beautiful views of the surroundings, promised a successful day.
And it was a successful day :-)
We have prepared a full-day program of experiments, scientific puzzles, and joyful entertainment for young and adult science fans.
With the wave of a magic wand, we transformed our institute into a nomadic alchemy corner where children could have a lot of fun with experiments and puzzles over the laws of physics. The most passionate ones could turn into alchemists with us, and not random ones, but powder alchemists! They learned that powder is not like powder, and what and how they mix is ​​also essential. Once they passed the theoretical test in front of our powder metallurgy information banner, they got to real alchemy - pressing and sintering powders. Fortunately, our science is edible, and those who persevered and made it to the final stage of the production process could taste it. We pressed sugar, which represented the input material for the production. Subsequently, together with the children, we put it in the oven - to improve its properties, then cooled it so that it could be handled safely, and finally, we put it in .....our mouths and ate it :-). The children themselves could not believe how clever and skillful they were.
Other scientific stations offered visitors no less attractive experiences. Institute of Polymer SAS he turned the children into jewelers. However, they were not such ordinary pieces of art, because they actually turned plastic waste into nano art during production, but isn't it beautiful? Even art is science!
Institute of Chemistry SAS he initiated the children into the secrets of chemical processes, which even moved the train. They discovered what elephant paste is and why it is actually called an elephant.
SAS Historical Institute transported visitors to a medieval kitchen. We learned how food was cooked in the past, what people liked most in historical times, and that they didn't know tomatoes. The icing on the historical cake was the creative corner, where children created art from dry dough and tried sealing it with wax.
We believe that this meeting left a deep impression on the children, and they took away not only new knowledge and skills but also inspiration for further exploring the world. We look forward to next year when we can continue our mission to popularize science and educate the younger generation.