“To get children curios about chemistry at an early age is in the long run very positive also for the work we do – higher education and research. It was both fun and natural for us to help with this” says Leif Åhman, head of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.
Apart from Leif Åhman, Per Thorén, Per Lincoln and Jerker Mårtensson from the Chemistry department, have also been helping in the making of the book. They emphasize that the publisher Josefin Svenske has done the major work, and that they have mostly been a support for her, in among other things a discussion about the basic idea and with their expert knowledge in chemistry. Per Lincoln, has for example been checking the facts.
Sticky and fun experiment book
"Alfons Åberg undersöker och experimenterar" is designed, after Gunilla Bergström's book character Alfons Åberg. It introduces the reader to basic chemical concepts and the experiments in the book can be done with things that most people already have at home. Josefin Svenske, publisher at Rabén & Sjögren describes the idea behind it:
“The word 'Why?' is a central word in a child's vocabulary but it is equally important for a chemist and a researcher. We want to pay tribute to this. This is a sticky and fun experiment book. If you want to learn more about density, gas and molecules you can find it too, in this book.”
Alfie Atkins and chemistry - a successful partnership for several years
The character Alfie Atkins and chemistry have been a concept for preschool children since 2015, when Chalmers and The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre in Gothenburg, created the playful chemistry lesson "Kemi med Alfons Åberg" (Chemistry with Alfie Atkins). The activity has since then been an annual recurring activity.
“We have noticed an enormous interest in 'Kemi med Alfons Åberg' since the start and this spring when we had to switch over to a digital event, we reached out even further. Schools from all over Sweden and one from one of our neighboring countries signed up. It was a record-breaking participation” says Per Thorén, chemist and project manager for Chalmers' part in the collaboration.
Illustrations, top image and in the article @ Bok-Makaren.