The Kiel Student Research Center takes part in the regional "Jugend forscht" competition

February 24th 2022

One of the three regional competitions in Schleswig-Holstein, Jugend forscht/Schüler experimentieren, will take place in Elmshorn on Friday, February 25, 2022. Six boys and girls from the Kiel Student Research Center (SFZ®) will also be taking part. Together, they will participate in the online event on site at the Botanical Garden and present their projects to the jury.

Research on site at the Kiel Student Research Center is finally possible again since September 2021. Still, this competition year is still strongly influenced by the pandemic. "Even though it was possible to return to the SFZ premises after the summer vacations, the students are still unable to conduct research here as usual due to the current hygiene regulations," explains Dr. Christine Köhler, director of the Kiel SFZ. "The participants therefore had to do more preparation than usual at home, and some events took place online or as hybrid events. The news at the beginning of February that the competition would be held online after all was another big change for everyone involved.

Nevertheless, the students, who regularly conduct their own research, came up with exciting projects for the competition. Elisabeth Schmachtel's research project, for example, dealt with the question of whether stick insects recognize patterns. She came up with the idea because when she took the animals out of their terrarium, she had the impression that they preferred certain surfaces.

Marten Jacobsen also became involved in his project as a result of an observation: The semi-hard cheese in the refrigerator at home began to mold more quickly if soft cheese was also purchased at the same time. Could it be that a knife or the base had transferred the mold, causing the cheese to spoil faster? Could the knife have transferred the good, edible mold, to, say, a Gouda? And is it then still the edible mold or is the semi-hard cheese now spoiled? Marten has investigated these questions under various conditions. He also wants to find out how possible transfer can be prevented to help combat food waste.

Other projects were developed in the area of sensor technology and programming. Lasse Marten worked on an ultrasonic helmet for firefighters. This is intended to detect people or obstacles in smoky buildings with the help of a sensor and to indicate with an acoustic signal that an obstacle has been detected. Vincent Henkel's refrigerator alarm is intended to draw attention to the fact that the refrigerator was accidentally left open.

Diego Adrián Hernandez Briand's "Umgebinator" aims to ensure that students can concentrate and work at their best. The device measures various conditions at the workplace, such as ambient temperature, air quality or volume. Pius Schäfer's project aims to determine whether a digital dice can be programmed to roll a certain number more often without attracting attention.

All participants intensively prepared for the competition in the past months. The team of the Kiel Student Research Center supported them in their preparations. Together with Christine Köhler, Dagmar Biskupek, Nina Siebert and Leif Schillhorn supervised the students in their research projects from the initial idea to the submission of the project work at the end of January, the preparations for the poster and information stand, and the preparation of the short presentations. Their common goal is to take part in the national Jugend forscht competition, which will be held in Lübeck from May 26 to 29, 2022.

The Kiel Student Research Center

The Kiel Student Research Center in the Botanical Garden at Kiel University is one of eight locations within the Schleswig-Holstein Student Research Center Network (SFZ-SH). Schoolchildren from the 3rd grade upwards have the opportunity to develop their own research projects here in their free time. It doesn't matter whether they already have project ideas, want to tinker with ideas together with others, or want to conduct guided research.

The SFZ team also supports students participating in competitions such as Jugend forscht or the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO). Additional (online) workshops offer exciting ideas and insights into science for anyone interested in research.

Further information (in German):