Let `s talk about water
We are PhD students in physics but also volunteers for the NGO Sunshine4Palestine, that aims at developing sustainable alternatives for addressing energy and water needs in emergency situations. Water quality and water sanitation are one of the most important contributions that science can give to sustainable development. We focus on water quality monitoring and water sanitation techniques, and how to make them accessible also in developing countries with lower costs and energy consume.
„We learnt how to approach in an interactive and accessible way questions such as: How does water from water reservoirs arrive clean into your glass? What happens to the dirty water that goes down your sink? What are the fundamental water quality parameters and what do they mean? We learnt especially how to approach the topic through reciprocal learning by following the curiosity of the visitors and how to make it interactive and let the visitors themselves exploring it. It was especially interesting to work with a motivated group, we got feedback on our ideas during the workshop and tested our concepts, and we learnt a lot on how to interact with a diverse audience with different interests.“
On everyone’s mind and lips – German in Austria
The citizen science project “On everyone’s mind and lips – German in Austria” invites everybody to critically approach German language in Austria and to reflect on their own use of language. Language use, may it be the use of a dialect or a standard variety, is an emotional and political topic, which everybody can contribute to with their opinion, experience, knowledge and concerns. We aim at raising interest in German linguistics and its social implications but also animate citizens to join us in every research step. We joined the Communication Hub in order to reach out and improve our communication with the general public.
We drew a lot of inspiration from the Communication Hub’s various tasks and activities, e.g. a Wimmelbild (a kind of “Where is Wally picture?”) to serve as a basis for discussion with the visitors at Lange Nacht der Forschung. In the course of the Hub, we also developed targeted and project-oriented activities ourselves. We were even able to try them out and improve them in a test run, thanks to the helpful feedback of our colleagues from the Communication Hub.
The Lange Nacht der Forschung was a full success and great opportunity to get in touch with citizens. The fruitful discussions with engaged visitors resulted in about 60 fully completed activities. In addition, visitors raised more than 60 questions about German in Austria. We had many inspiring discussions, proving that German in Austria, its use and perception is a field of mutual knowledge exchange.