The entrance hall in the Chemistry building is filled with young girls and boys who are testing, analyzing, and writing down results. The atmosphere in the summer empty premises turns from slumbering to playful and curious. Tennis balls are rolling down the stairs, measuring tapes are hanging from high altitudes. It turns out that these young scientists are testing and measuring gravitation in different ways.
Very different from school
In one of the course labs are microscopes placed on the benches and everyone is wearing lab coats. With different kinds of tests, they are identifying bacteria. By one of the benches is Alice. She has just finished eight grade and has travelled all the way from Orust to be here. Her farther helps her to search for summer activities and when he was looking for this year’s activity the summer research school appeared. His guidance seems to have been very well received. When Alice is talking about what she thinks of being here the word cool is repeated several times.
“This is completely different from what we do in school. There is more and other equipment here. It is fun and exciting. Chalmers is a school that is difficult to get into, so it is feels special to be here”, says Alice.
Ivar and Malte are by another bench in the lab. Both their parents work at the company AstraZeneca, that is a partner in the summer research school. To sing up came natural for them. Like Alice, they find the summer research school fun and that they get to do very different things compared to their biology and chemistry lessons at school.
“It is very interesting, we can go more deeply into things, and you get to learn a lot that you don’t learn at school”, says Ivar.
“It is a very good atmosphere here, nice people, good supervisors, and fun things to do”, adds Malte
Shall stimulate young people’s interest in science and technology
The research summer schools main purpose is to stimulate young peoples interested in science and technology. From what the girls and the boys in the lab are saying, it seems like there is a good chance to achieve that goal. This also brings a valuable opportunity to test and develop skills in teaching for the supervisors, who are university students.
And what would Alice, Ivar and Malte say to someone who is thinking about signing up for the summer research school?
“Try it before you judge it, says Ivar
“It is definitely worth spending one week of your summer break on this”, says all of them.
More about the Summer research school
The summer research school gathers around 100 young people interested in technology and science, aged 13-16, who for a week can challenge themselves and develop their interest in research. AstraZeneca's summer research school is held in two rounds, at the Royal Academy of Technology in Stockholm and at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Since young people are best inspired by other young people, the participants are led by committed university students, who inspire and coach the students. Through problem-based learning, creativity and thinking outside the box, everyone, regardless of level, is offered a challenge. The path to the goal is more important than the result, and here there are neither grades nor fixed solutions.
The summer research school is arranged with the support of AstraZeneca as part of their efforts to stimulate young people's interest in science and technology.
More about Unga forskare (The
Swedish Federation of Young Scientists)
iThe Swedish Federation of Young Scientists is Sweden's largest non-profit youth association with the aim of giving young people the conditions to develop their interest in science, technology, and mathematics. Young Researchers was founded in 1977 and annually engages 8,000 young people through membership or participation in various activities.
Text: Jenny Holmstrand
Photo: Victor Svedenblad/ The Swedish Federation of Young Scientists