Online events "Meet a scientist": Discuss with researchers as a school class


What happens in a supernova explosion? Why do we accelerate particles? What does the work of researchers involve? High-school students can get to the bottom of these and many other questions in the interactive online events of "Meet a scientist". From October 25 to November 5, 2021, school classes will have the opportunity to talk directly with scientists from the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) in Darmstadt.

The one-hour events begin with a short lecture on the research topic of the scientists, after which they are available for a discussion with the students. “This should not be limited to scientific questions, but can also be about the everyday life of researchers. Students are invited to also talk about other aspects such as choosing a course of study, career, work-life balance or gender aspects,” says project manager and initiator Dr. Arjan Vink, head of the GSI/FAIR Grant Office. “These deeper insights into science are intended to provide an incentive for young people to consider a career in science in their upcoming choice of profession.”

The more than 20 participating researchers from GSI and FAIR were specifically prepared in previous workshops to answer the questions of the students, aided by technical equipment for video conferences, which was acquired especially for the project. All scientific topics related to GSI and FAIR are covered: Whether construction and operation of accelerators, work on giant detectors for measuring nuclear reactions, events in the Universe, research into new, super-heavy elements or tumor therapy with ion beams — experts are available for all these and many more research areas. Career stages from PhD students to professors are represented to provide insight into career paths.

The events take place online as video conferences. High-school teachers can request appointments to "Meet a scientist" as a class. Classes can then dial into the events either as individuals or as a group. An overview of participating scientists, available times, and how to participate can be found at Interested parties can register directly on the web or contact meetascientist(at) with any queries. If demand is high, the project will possibly continue beyond the two weeks.

The pilot project "Meet a scientist" is supported by the Hessian Ministry of Science (HMWK) and Arts and by the Helmholtz Research Academy Hessen for FAIR (HFHF). (CP)

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