young investigators

Explaining continental drift

photo: De Jonge Onderzoekers

Since September 2014 I am working as a volunteer at 'De Jonge Onderzoekers' (the young investigators), a non-profit foundation in Groningen. Major aim is to familiarize young people (from 8 to 18 years old) with science and engineering, and to advise them on how to make things, such as machines, and on how to do their own investigations. 'De Jonge Onderzoekers' exists since 1970 and was founded by Jan Kommandeur (1929-2012), the professor who learned me (and my fellow students) the basics of physical chemistry. This happened in 1962 in a cozy classroom of the then chemical laboratory, currently known as 'Het Paleis', that is converted into apartments, studios, public halls, a hotel and a restaurant. 

Making yoghurt

photo: De Jonge Onderzoekers

'De Jonge Onderzoekers' is now based in a former school, close to the University Hospital UMCG. One of its 'departments' is the 'Laboratory of Science', the size of a modest classroom, thus physics, chemics, biology, and, maybe at some time, astronomy. Facilities are surprisingly good. My role is mainly restricted to biology and primarily consists of giving workshops on various topics, such as 'eating and being eaten', 'making yoghurt', 'The Big Evolution Game', 'camouflage', the nest of a wasp, etcetera. 

Cutting pens from goose feathers for home made gal ink

photo: De Jonge Onderzoekers

From 21 tot 30 August 2015 we were at the yearly festival Noorderzon in Groningen with our KijkDoeOntdekmuur: 8 panels, each 2 square meters, I took care of one of these, headed: rich/poor, light/dark, dry/wet. It showed how plants and animals are dealing with this. We grew plants on different dilutions of urine, or, temporarily in darkness. We also showed insects (even ants in an artificial nest) and some other small animals that could be sent, for instance, from light to dark or vice-versa.

Ants and butterflies in our presentation at Noorderzon

photo: De Jonge Onderzoekers

 

 

contact via e-mail: johan-van-rhijn@wxs.nl