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June 29, 2022

Open Campus Day 2022 – a review

A science party for the whole family

On June 25, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) opened its doors to visitors at the annual Open Campus Day. More than 1,800 people celebrated a huge science party on the 179,000 m² campus.

How does a rocket work? Why do frozen bananas break when they fall to the ground? And what will the battery of the future look like? Visitors were able to find out all this and much more at the Open Campus Day of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) and test it themselves in hands-on experiments. Those who wanted to know more about the institute and its scientists took part in one of the numerous tours through the research buildings. The tours led into the state-of-the-art server rooms, where high-performance computers calculate scientific simulations around the clock. And of course, visitors were also allowed to take a look at into various laboratories and marvel at electron microscopes or the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility. The latter uses magnetic fields and electromagnetic frequencies to study molecules.

Spectacular Show

At the Science Slam, researchers from the institute presented their current projects. For example, those interested learned more about the difference between mouse brains and human brains. Even Science Buster Martin Moder visited the big science party. And in the subsequent Fire & Ice experiments show, science communicator Bernhard Weingartner fascinated the audience with huge clouds of smoke made of dry ice and hissing flames that burned on the palm of his assistant’s hand without hurting him. Of course, he always provided a humorous but scientific explanation for these phenomena. During the Open Campus Day, also the winners of the ISTA school competition were also honored. Here, students could submit final theses or scientific projects. One winning class, for example, created a four-meter-long poster illustrating nine theories about dinosaur extinction. The class received a certificate and, of course, gifts. The children thanked the hundreds of spectators in the full institute lecture hall with beaming faces.

Great Celebration

„The Open Campus Day has clearly become one of the annual highlights at ISTA“, president Thomas Henzinger said. „This Open Campus Day was something very special, not only because we were finally able to open our doors again to many interested children, but also because we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Lower Austria in the process. I would especially like to thank all the Science Slammers for their entertaining flash talks and also like to thank all who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this Open Campus happen. Their commitment and effort helped to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, which our visitors clearly enjoyed.“


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