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How to build a robot???

On Wednesday it was very rainy. Some of us visited organisations or institutions and some us stayed at the Villa to do experiments.
Some kids of the water group visited the zoological collection of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg to learn something about the adaptation of animals to water. It was really interesting and sometime scary to stand next to a huge bear. After that we knew why some animals have webs or why the fell has sometimes special characteristics. Other kids tried to build a water wheel out of wood or to understand the “helpfulness” of water regulation. Therefor they created an artificial, natural river.
The Neophyts explored the nearby wood in Heide. After a few minutes we were very wet and our instructor asked a few time if we want to go back to the Villa. Everybody of us wanted to stay (except our instructors :D). We learned more about the reasons why the German red oak and the American red oak can grow at the same places and at the same time. After a 2 hour walk we were back at the Villa, wet but happy.
The kids of the human body workshop stayed at the Villa to do more experiments. They dissected lungs of porks to understand the blood circulation and the function of a lung. To see how huge a lung is, they put in the bronchi tubes and blow air in the lung. It was amazing to see how the lungs unfold. Also Syrian kids build joints with the help of chalk, oil and wax.
Last but not least, the energy workshop visited the technical college Merseburg. At first they got an insight in a daily life of a student at this college. After that they participated in a LEGO-Workshop. The exercise was to think about what a robot can or shall do and then to build and program a LEGO robot. Some robots played soccer, other robots brought a thing from A to B.
In the afternoon we learned Arabic and Turkish dances. The most of us were too shy to dance with the Turkish and Syrian guys, but our instructors were very talented :-D.
The third day is over, two days are left. We will see what happened tomorrow…

Your Science Camp members


Giant Knotweed, wind turbines, water-lamp and hearts – the second day

The last evening was great. At first we played “knowing each other better games” with ice cream (pictures and a video will follow…). Then we were sitting around a campfire and sang German and Arabic songs together. Cultural exchange in high extent.
The second day started with having breakfast together. After that the workshops continued. One group visited a small wind turbine and built solar cookers and wind turbines made of daily used things like paper, glass and aluminium foil. With the help of the solar cookers we tried to make a very tasty fondue with grapes and musch musch (Arabic for apricot) …. unsuccessfully :-D.
The other group started with a trip to the hospital Martha Maria where we were introduced in different techniques of physical therapy. We were also allowed to see the neurological station and the machines for e.g. air conditions or heating in the cellar. Back in the villa we dissected hearts of pigs for comparing the real heart of the pig with a model of a human heart.
With the help of a bottle and a cardboard box the water workshop made a water lamp. Then we did a fieldtrip to the river Saale for fetching water for analysing it. After lunch a few students visited a water mill in Krosigk.
During this group learned something about the function of a water mill, the Neophyts (members of the “Invasive Plants” workshop) visited the botanical garden. There they looked for invasive plants and how they can live next to native plant species. After that they got an ice cream because it was very warm today….
The highlight of the day was the evening program: at first we played our so called “international volleyball game” – everything was allowed, nothing was forbidden – followed by a pedal-powered cinema!! Nine kids had to cycle so the film “WALL-E” was running. If anybody of the kids became tired, someone replaced the driver.

Ready Steady Go! First day of the International Science Camp Halle 2016

Today starts the international science camp 2016 in Halle (Saale). International, because there are members from many different countries, for example from Turkey, America, German, also some members are refugees.
All of us were very excited about the meeting because of the different languages. But explaining words with our hands and feet we made ourselves understandable.
After an introduction which helped us getting to know each other, we were put in some scientific groups. There was a group of medicine – the body and technic, some of us will deal with invisible plants – green aliens, also there is a team named “renewable energies” and last of all our group, the one dealing with water.
Because it was the first day we played some games to know each other a bit better, before we started to make our one hay infusion. For this we searched for natural materials like leaves, grass or of course also water. We want to find out if there are other species in the hay infusion which was made with tab water or in the one, made with pond water.
After making our one we started to look after the hay infusion, our group leader made three weeks ago for us, under the microscope in teams of two. Unfortunately, not every group was able to find one of the species.
Now we are going to have some free time, but we’re really excited about the next days!

Your Science Camp members

International Science Camp in Halle

Our annual event is just called “Science Camp” and aims to rise the youngsters’ interest in Science / STEM. We want to show the participants that “the boring” school topics like physics or math are quiet interesting when you have a real research question, motivated staff and an engaging environment.

These are the topics from this year: Renewable Energy, Human Body, Invasive Plants and Water as elixir. Every year within the online-registration we suggest different topics and the students can choose between them.

When the camp starts there are usually four groups with different topics and 15 students investigating on it.
An example of a program

A participant of our one week Science Camps usually take the following steps for example:
During the morning of the first day the student arrives at the venue. We are staying in a hostel and do the main research and have the accommodation in that building and around it. In Halle(Saale) the hostel was usually the Villa Jühling which is a former factory owner house with a big property and much nature around it. After the registration we have all together lunch and welcome all the participants together. After the lunchbreak and after the participants have completed our survey they start with the four different workshop groups. For example if a participant chose the topic “Human Body” then this group will start with a brain storming about the human Body (bones, diseases, bodies....), an overview about the activities for the week and maybe some “get to know each other” game. Afterwards they start with their first experiment or have their first field trip or lecture by an extern expert. In the evening there will be dinner time for all together and afterwards some leisure time activity like camp fire, volleyball or a walk through the woods.
The next days go the same as the afternoon just described. The students have experiments, fieldtrips and lectures but all very open and with free choices of having a break. They can work together in groups as they want and are encouraged to rise up with own research questions or ideas for experiments.
The later the week goes the more work will done for the final presentation. On the last day all groups will prepare the things they did in the week. They can present it via talks, active experimenting, narrations, videos, games or anything else. The way of presenting is again open but everybody has to present something. They usually are very creative and proud of the things they want to share.
Afterwards we make a big group picture, having the post-surveys, a fairwell-lunch and say “bye bye and until the next year!”


We are targeting students in the age 14 – 18 and want to have a balances gender mix. Usually the gender mix goes itself without any adjustment from us. We more have to adjust the age groups since many parents want to have their 12 or 13 year old child within our camp. The students come from everywhere in Germany but with a dominance of students from Halle(Saale) and the surrounded area. 2015 we did an international Science Camp in English with 15 students from Turkey, three Macedonian students and 27 German students. This year we are doing an Special international Science Camp with 20 german students, 20 turkish students and 14 students from families who had fled. It will be multikulti!

This blog allows our pariticpants to share their activities, experiences and anything else.

And it allows you to follow :-)


Your Science Camp Team