The Institute for Synthetic Microbiology of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) opened the doors of the laboratory and 40 children got an insight into science and the everyday life of researchers.
Since the motto of this year's “Türöffnertag” was "Hallo Zukunft", the program focussed on cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) as a model organism for biotechnology. After the children were equipped with lab coats and divided into different groups, they started a tour of several stations. The young researchers learned about cyanobacteria as an important research object, which can be seen clearly even at low magnification levels in a simple light microscope. Dr. Sebastian Hänsch from the CAi explained the principle of fluorescence of dyes to the children through small demonstrative experiments, and then showed them autofluorescent cyanobacteria in the confocal microscope. The little guests were also taken on a tour of a laboratory, where the head of the institute, Professor Ilka Axmann, and her laboratory team presented impressive equipment, such as bioreactors for cyanobacteria.
When the children also received a certificate and a gift from the mouse at the end, an informative and interesting insight into research was completed. The parents, some of whom had joined the tours, were also excited that the doors of the HHU laboratory had opened that day, and not just for the children. Professor Ilka Axmann gave a positive summary: "It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm among the children and we received a lot of positive feedback from the parents. We should repeat such an action; there is definitely a high interest!".