SQUID visits schools!

Jacob writes

Last week it was finally time to head out to some schools to tell the students about our experiment and student life at KTH.

The first stop was Naturvetargymnasiet in Södertälje, my old school. On Thursday David, Gustav, Jiangwei and me
carried our heavy bags packed with plasma experiments and accompanying transformers all the way there.

The students seemed really interested in what what we were doing, and for me it was pretty fun to meet my old teachers. At this first visit we presented for the International Baccalaureate class, so we held the presentation in English. Tomorrow we will have two further presentations in Swedish.

The presentation itself took about 50 minutes and afterwards we had some experiments set up for the students to try. The plasma ball and Jacob’s Ladder from KTH öppet hus were there, but this time we also had a wooden model of the FFU and model of the SCALE system. There was also a computer simulation, where the students could try minimizing the swinging of the wire booms at the end of deployment by controlling the deployment speed. Overall it seems both we and the students enjoyed it, and we’re looking forward to returning next week for two more presentations.

On Friday we headed to Stockholm Observatory in Saltsjöbaden, where Kunskapsgymnasiet for astronomy is housed. It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate place for a space presentation, and the students here were even more interested, asking me, David and Gustav many difficult questions during the presentation. We were quite proud to have been able to answer at least some of them. 😉

Afterwards we got to see more of the building, which is located at the top of a tall hill in Saltsjöbaden. The hill is littered with domes, for various telescopes, and the centerpiece is a 20-or-so-inch refractor (lens) telescope.