The Children’s University in Göttingen starts again in presence

Göttingen.What is sustainability and how does it work? How do young children, such as sisters or brothers, actually learn to speak? Speaking of kinship: what do wild monkeys do in Africa – and why would scientists disturb the animals in the jungle? There are answers in the lecture hall. On Wednesday, the children’s university in Göttingen starts the summer semester for students in third to sixth grade – after two years of participation again. Registration is possible online.

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“Take a breath. It’s a great pleasure to finally be able to interact with the kids again,” says Dr. Gilbert Hess, head of the Children’s University, before the start on Wednesday 15 June. It is supposed to start at. “Our events thrive on exchange, especially in this age group,” the 53-year-old says. The participants are between ten and twelve years old.

Lecture hall: Parents stay outside

The kids are excited, Hess says, because their parents are staying outside. “When they enter the great lecture hall, they can discover a world that is new to them.” And they can get involved: Write down questions on slips of paper or take the microphone and ask questions in between. The lectures in lecture hall 009 in the central lecture hall building on the central campus (Platz der Göttinger 7) last 60 minutes. Movies and pictures illustrate the content of the lecture.

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Curiosity calls for explanations and this leads to knowledge, which is plentiful in the knowledge forum south of the station. The museum, which has just opened, is thematically closely linked to the three lectures, two seminars and a workshop – for the latter two, the number of participants is limited to 15. Registration is only possible online: on the website of the University of Göttingen under the tab Facilities (” Favorites “), School Laboratories and Children’s University.

Look into the world of monkeys

On Wednesday, Prof. Julia Fischer from the German Primate Center will take the young visitors to Botswana and Senegal. The goal of their expeditions is to better understand the basics of human behavior. She explains field research that has nothing to do with farmland, but in this case with trees, describes her observations of the animal climbers and sneaks into various monkey communities with the children. There is a station on the subject at the museum, Hess says.

When little brother or sister can just crawl across the living room rug, they may think a few years older: The little ones fortunately do not hear the adults’ hibble – they still do not understand anything. With the knowledge of Prof. Nivedita Mani, the students can on Wednesday 22 June from kl. Mani works in the research group Speech Psychology at the Georg Elias Müller Institute for Psychology. She reveals the tricks babies use to learn languages ​​and what one knows about these skills.

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How does sustainability work?

Sustainability. Everyone has heard the term before. What it is, how it is formed, and why it is important, is explained by Dr. Fabian Brambach, Dr. Christian Stiegler and Prof. Alexander Knohl from the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology on Wednesday 6 July from They report on the exploration of sustainability using the example of rainforests and oil palm plantations in Indonesia. Palm oil is found in foods, cosmetics and biodiesel, among other things – and the demand for palm oil is increasing.

However: “Oil palms only grow where rainforest should actually grow,” the three scientists emphasize. So oil palm plantations are increasingly displacing this tropical rainforest, which is important for the climate. In the lecture, the children learn how the Göttingen researchers develop solutions for better land use. Their special research project resulted in a collaboration with the art exhibition Documenta (Kassel) and Indonesian artists – a special exhibition can be seen in the Knowledge Forum.

Børneuniversitetet also offers online lectures by students from Børneuniversitetet’s team over the last few years, which can be viewed on YouTube. This video is about happiness. cU13mqoJBKI

Sustainability: Lecture seminar

On Thursday 7 July, the Children’s University offers a seminar on sustainability lectures in the special exhibition in the Knowledge Forum (15.00-17.00). On Sunday, July 3, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., the seminar “Adored, Admired, Exploited” will focus on the relationship between humans and elephants in Asia.

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On Friday, July 1st and Friday, July 8th (from 3pm to 5pm), the children will learn something about the old German handwriting that their grandparents ruled. The children especially enjoy interpreting and writing the unknown script, says workshop leader Hess.

By Stefan Kirchhoff

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