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Published: 2022-02-17

Experiment with researchers during a festive special weekend at Curiosum

NEWS With the third special weekend 19-20 February, Curiosum at Umeå University continues to celebrate that the whole house has opened up to visitors with a focus on researchers and experimenting.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

Doing experiments to understand how things work is the very cornerstone of Curiosum's business.

Experiments are central to research. A researcher often formulates a hypothesis which he or she then tests through experiments with the aim of achieving completely new knowledge. Researchers work in many subject areas and the results of research usually lead to a publication in a scientific journal.

For the special weekend, Curiosum has filled up with lots of exciting experiments covering everything from chemistry and physics to memory and filmmaking for the curious of all ages. A bunch of researchers pop up all over the house and experiment with anyone who wants to join in. In Curiosum's café Nyfiket, visitors can have a coffee and have a chat with the researchers - ordinary people that have unusual jobs.

There is also a hair-raising physics show about static electricity and Våga Fråga (Dare to Ask), where visitors can ask the researchers Petra Sandberg and Josy ter Beek any questions they like about memory and chemistry.

In the Dome Theater, the premiere of the film "Lucia, the Secrets of Shooting Stars" is perfectly suited for younger children. It features a curious polar bear, penguin and hummingbird who go on adventures into space where they experiment and learn more about falling stars. The film is produced by Saint-Etienne Planetarium.

What should visitors not miss?

”It's hard to just choose one thing! Everyone can try as many experiments as they want, choose their favorites and collect special stickers for each one they took part in during the day. If I could only choose one favorite, it would be the DNA extraction from strawberries. It's so amazing that with just a few steps and basic chemicals you can extract DNA from the inside of a strawberry's cells and really see it with your own eyes,” says Gabrielle Beans who is the project leader of the special weekend "Experiment" and continues:

”I used to supervise schoolchildren through this experiment during my doctoral studies when I myself spent many hours extracting penguin DNA for my own research. The excitement of seeing the small lumps of DNA appear in the test tube never decreases. That excitement of discovery - that's what I hope our visitors will feel this weekend!”

Through four festive special weekends, Curiosum wants to showcase its range and arouse curiosity and interest in science and technology.

“Doing experiments to understand how things work is the very cornerstone of Curiosum's business. This is exactly what science is all about: systematically exploring and experimenting to gain more knowledge about how the world works. We want to show that research is incredibly exciting and that researchers have a lot of fun. We hope that more people will discover it and think that the university is a really cool place to be,” says Madelen Bodin, director of Curiosum at Umeå University.

About Curiosum:

Curiosum is Umeå's new science center that invites you to a world of curious exploration on the Art Campus. The aim is to increase the interest and knowledge of children, young people and the general public in science and technology. Curiosum is located at Umeå University and is part of the strategic partnership with Umeå Municipality.

For more information, please contact:

Gabrielle Beans Picón
Staff scientist
Madelen Bodin
Associate professor