• 10/05/2022
  • Reading time 4 min.

Fascinating research, a spectacular chemistry show and hands-on experiments

“Open house with the TV mouse” at TUM

In a Germany-wide activity day hosted by the popular educational show “Sendung mit der Maus” on October 3 2022, research institutes in various fields at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) opened their doors to mouse fans. The wide-ranging program attracted more than 800 children and adults to various locations and events throughout the TUM premises.

Children get surprise eggs in the laboratory. Andreas Heddergott / TUM
Surprise chocolate egg X-ray scan at the Munich Institute of Biomedical Engineering (MIBE).

The Research Neutron Source, the Munich Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene and the four Munich Excellence Clusters organized hands-on activities, exciting talks, onsite tours and virtual lab visits. Children immersed themselves in the world of science through fun and games and had the chance to explore, do experiments and make things with their own hands.

Biomedicine, chemistry and technology at the Munich Institute of Biomedical Engineering (MIBE)

Giant bubbles, magic writing and fireballs: the program at MIBE kicked off with a spectacular and entertaining chemistry show. After that, the children visited scientific stations where they had the chance to try experiments and make things with their own hands.

Where do the colors of the rainbow come from? At the microscopy and optics station, the children tested what happens when light hits lenses, and assembled their own simple microscopes. How do we hear words and sounds? The mouse fans looked into these questions at the acoustics station. They also used a force sensor to test their own strength and watch their muscle activity in action on a monitor.

How can we see inside chocolate eggs without opening them? The young scientists learned how a real computed tomography device works during the X-ray CT scan with Kinder Surprise eggs. A Lego station, where children assembled models of a complex research device, was also a big hit. In the electronics workshop, they demonstrated a keen eye and steady hands as they soldered electronic cubes, small musical instruments and other kits.

Dinosaur eggs and an ice-cold surprise in the Research Neutron Source

How does a high-powered research reactor work? How can we see inside fossilized dinosaur eggs without breaking them? Mouse fans of all ages looked into these and other questions at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II). In the well-attended accompanying program at the Science Congress Center, they enjoyed exciting talks, a painting and handicraft corner where children made their own spectroscopes, several Lego models of the gigantic instruments, two neutron throwing games and many exhibits from the reactor.

The 287 guests who toured the FRM II also got an exclusive look into the reactor basin and the experimentation and neutron guide hall. At the end of the reactor tour, the 64 children in attendance were surprised by the FRM II’s traditional ice cold treat.

Munich Excellence Clusters

Where will we obtain our energy in the future? What is a quantum computer? What causes Alzheimer’s disease? And what happened after the Big Bang? The booths presented by the four Munich Excellence Clusters e-conversion, MCQST, SyNergy and ORIGINS offered insights into future technologies and the universe.
More than 400 children accompanied by their parents made batteries with fruit, played the piano with bananas, learned about renewable energy sources, studied nerve cells under the microscope, took a virtual reality tour of a real quantum research laboratory and made fridge magnets to take home with pictures of far-away galaxies. And before leaving, they stopped at a big selfie screen where they appeared to be standing inside the famed CERN particle accelerator tunnel.

Microbiology at Klinikum rechts der Isar

“Me and my bacteria – we’re inseparable!” Again this year, this motto brought together 24 children to learn about bacteria, fungi and parasites. From looking at their own oral bacteria under a microscope and measuring tapeworms to sniffing different bacteria species, the young science fans got a good idea of what microbiology is all about.
At the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, they learned about the tiny organisms that live on us and in us and what they get up to all day long. The young participants were thrilled with the activities and fascinated by the glimpses into the diverse world of microorganisms.

Directing radioisotopes into a tumor with a game console

At the booth presented by ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE, a startup with roots at TUM and headquartered at the research campus in Garching, children and adults played a computer game to learn about innovative methods for the targeted treatment of cancer using radionuclides. The medical radioisotopes are produced by the company in the on-campus Industrial Application Center (IAZ). In the game, the visitors used the game controller to maneuver the radiopharmaceutical, consisting of a medical radioisotope and a molecule designed to dock onto specific structures on the tumor cells, through blood vessels to the tumor. This simulated the targeted delivery of radiation to destroy tumor tissue.

Picture gallery “Open house with the TV mouse” at TUM

Further information and links

On the annual open day for children hosted by the “Sendung mit der Maus,” companies, laboratories, workshops, factories, museums and other institutions from all over Germany open doors for children that are otherwise closed.

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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