GENIALE - when science gets available for everyone
The “GENIALE – Science Festival Bielefeld“ took place from August, 19th to August, 26th 2017. It is a street science festival that was initiated to make science available for everyone without regard on academic success, age or gender. The GENIALE is a cooperation between the city of Bielefeld and many science institutes. The festival was established in 2007, taking place the first time in 2008. Since its inventions, it took place every third year. This year, it was situated all over the city, starting at the city hall, and spreading all over the city including many science facilities. In summary, the GENIALE is a great science related festival for everyone interested in (experimental) sciences.
On August, 22nd and August 23rd, the so-called "campus days" and the GENIALE took place at Bielefeld University. The CeBiTec laboratory building and other scientific buildings became a place of science for everyone. On these days, we provided a large science area in the foyer of the CeBiTec. With our experimenrts situated on many tables, we made even the youngest participants see what working in a lab (on (synthetic) biology) is about. Our experimental setup consisted of a variety of scientific approaches and experiments based on “fun facts” of science. Here, the children learned how to use a pipette and what their every day usage in the lab is. Furthermore, the children and adults could do a thin layer chromatography of leaves and analyzed different mixtures with filters. Other experiments involved a microscope to examine algae cells from Euglena gracilis or freshly taken samples of hair. Of course, we also offered DNA extraction from different fruits, only via salt, dish washer detergents, water and ethanol. All experiments were further accompanied by background information on the biological principles. We even provided take-away flyers with the most important information. Besides these more biology-based experiments, we also offered some fun experiments like the non-newtonian fluid, or secret ink to bridge the time between experiments. Everyone was fascinated by our jewelery derived from lab equipment. We tried to limit all experiments to household- products to demonstrate how science surrounds us in our daily life. Further on, we presented posters explaining the flow of information in a cell in general, the iGEM competition and our project, always helping with questions on any of the topics. With our experimental setup, we could not only fascinate our youngest participants of the age of two, but also elderly ones who discovered their interest in science.