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Journeys of discovery: Open House will offer a wide range of information and entertainment

Photo: C. Grau for GSI

The Open House Day offers an exciting program for the visitors.



Offering a first-hand experience the fascinating world of research — that’s the purpose of the Open House at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the future FAIR accelerator center in Darmstadt on Sunday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (admission until 5 p.m.). Visitors can look forward to an exciting program of information and entertainment at numerous locations that will give them an introduction to the research with ion beams that is conducted at the center. On this day, they will have access to particle accelerators, experimental setups, workshops, laboratories, and the data processing center. The official opening ceremony, which will feature Mayor Jochen Partsch of Darmstadt and the management of FAIR/GSI, will begin at 11 a.m. on the Seebühne stage.

The motto of the Open House will be “The Universe in the Laboratory.” The employees at GSI and FAIR have made special preparations so that visitors will be able to get an idea of as many topics as possible. For example, guests will be able to individually explore 30 separate stations on five different journeys of discovery conceived as round tours of the research campus. Contact persons stationed throughout the center will offer tours and be available to answer questions and engage in discussions. Bus tours will take visitors to the construction site of the future FAIR particle accelerator, which will be unequaled anywhere else in the world. The specially designed FAIR Forum will offer a wealth of information about this fascinating science project, whose impact can be felt throughout the campus.

The information on offer at the Market of Possibilities will include a survey of the many job opportunities available at GSI and FAIR and the chance for visitors drop in to “Seltzer with an Expert” and talk with experts from the fields of science and industry. Visitors young and old will also have many opportunities to conduct hands-on experiments that explore physical phenomena such as the behavior of chocolate-covered marshmallows in a vacuum and the creation of chemical elements. The main auditorium will feature presentations focusing on FAIR and the hot-topic science show “Fire and Ice.”

The extensive entertainment program will focus on fun and excitement. Visitors will be able to test their knowledge of FAIR and GSI in a science quiz. The first prize will be an aerial tour of the FAIR/GSI site and the surrounding region, starting from the Egelsbach airfield. The same aerial tour will also be the first prize in the Science Selfie Contest. A number of Selfie Spots have been set up throughout the campus to serve as photogenic backgrounds for visitors’ selfies. The most beautiful self-portrait shot in one of these spots will be the winner. The youngest visitors will be able to participate in a rubber stamp collecting competition to gain the title of “Research Expert” with a certificate and a surprise gift.

There’ll also be lots going on along the way, such as visitors from outer space, courtesy of the “501 German Garrison” costume club, whose members will appear in costumes as characters from the Star Wars saga. Balloon artists, bouncy castles, and a chair-o-plane will also be available to young visitors. On this day, the research campus will also become an art campus. In the “Focus on Research” exhibit, large-format photographs will document the instruments of science, and several researchers from the center will showcase their works along the Art Walk. There will be music on the Seebühne stage and food and drink at various locations, including the “Hot Dense Matter” barbecue stand and the “Liquid Crystals” beverage stand. The organizers of Open House are making sure that at the end of the day their visitors will be able to take home a wealth of fascinating impressions and extraordinary insights.

You can find out more informations, for example how to get there on our special Web page for the Open House Day. Only a limited number of parking spaces are available on Planckstraße in front of the campus. We recommend that visitors come via local public transportation. A free shuttle service has been set up between the Wixhausen commuter train station and the Arheilgen/Dreieichweg streetcar terminus. Admission to all the features on the GSI and FAIR campus will be free of charge. The organizers expect that several thousand visitors will take advantage of this opportunity to experience the fascination of science at GSI and FAIR up close.

The Open House Day offers an exciting program for the visitors.
Photo: C. Grau for GSI