Polish Day at the British Science Week

 

To celebrate Poland's contribution to Science, Polonium Foundation, together with the Polish Society of Arts and Sciences Abroad (PTNO), Association of Polish Engineers (STP) and The Polish University Abroad in London (PUNO) organised Science Day: Poland’s Contrbution on Sunday 19 March 2017. A few hundred people took part in lectures, workshops and hands-on activities run by Polish scientists for the local community as a part of the British Science Week. The day event at Polish Social and Cultural Association in London (POSK),  burst with excitement and exploration for everyone: children and teenagers of all nationalities dragged their parents to various demonstration rooms, Polish children proudly showed their British friends around the building and parents queued for workshops asking if there are any places left for their little ones.

 © Paweł Jaworski

© Paweł Jaworski

Polonium team joined forces with PUNO, PTNO and STP in creating an exciting agenda for the day. We heard lectures from renowned Polish scientists  bringing top-notch science closer to people.

We listened to talks of Professor Michal Kleiber - a renowned Technical Sciences researcher and a former Minister of Science, Victor Tybulewicz - Professor of Immune Cell Biology from Imperial College London, a Computer Scientist Professor Marta Kwiatkowska of the University of Oxford, International Space Science Institute director - Jan Zarnecki, and Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz - a  Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology from Cambridge University.

To engage with the youngest audience we ran interactive workshops and demonstrations throughout the day, where children could talk to scientists and get their hands dirty performing experiments.

 © Association of polish engineers

© Association of polish engineers

Kids engaged in small group activities like building stratospheric capsules or engineering spaghetti bridges and curiosity sparked creativity. For example, we had an impressive collection of handmade neurones at the end of the day at the stand "How the brain works - create a neurone cell". Kids loved the 'I will be a scientist' stickers we gave to those who had a go at an experiment and some kids wanted a photo with a real scientist!  

 © Dominika bijoś
If you ask the greatest scientists about their success and reasons for becoming who they are, they are always going back to their childhood and moments when they got truly inspired. We wanted to give children the opportunity to meet, talk and ask the scientists millions of questions, to get their hands dirty playing with science and we hope that this moment of inspiration happened for some of them and we will hear about it in at least one Nobel speech
— Joanna Mostowy about the motivation behind the event

From toddlers chasing robot scorpions, through kids fascinated by microbiology on their hands and teenagers testing 3D printing and voice technology to their parents and grandparents listening to talks about Polish space missions - the first Science Day: Poland's contribution has exceeded our expectations. We'd like to thank scientists, volunteers and everyone who helped over last year to bring this event to such a professional level. As the president of the Association of Polish Engineers, Dr Marian Zastawny, said: "If we managed to inspire one young person, it was absolutely worth it!".

More information about the event at welcome2science.pl