06 Jan From bugs to stars: extracurricular science activities at Science Park
As a science student, you don’t just love science in the lecture room or the lab. You’re interested in random science facts from all disciplines. Right? So after the stress of deadlines have passed – whether you met them or not – and the exam nerves have disappeared, it might be a good idea to relax and engage yourself in some extracurricular science.
Visiting the Computer Museum
Located within the walls of the main building (room B0.157a), the computer museum is open every weekday. This museum is part of the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam and the collection can be demonstrated by the curator on request.
Strolling through Flevopark
Although not actually part of Science Park, this park is in walking distance (700 m) and is one of the nicest and more natural parks within Amsterdam. Flevopark is an excellent place for walking around with your field guide and magnifying glass, trying to identify every bug and plant that you come across. Afterwards you can celebrate finding that flat bark beetle at the distillery and tasting room ‘t Nieuwe Diep. Don’t forget to bring cash, as it’s not possible to pay by card.
Enjoying a BètaBreak
You probably already noticed this event, as it is held every third Wednesday of the month at noon in the central hall of the faculty. It’s definitely worth it to leave your regular lunch spot and attend this debate as a panel of scientists, businessmen, politicians and writers discuss an exact science related subject with students. The topics can range from the weather to Ebola to alien hunting. If you like the BètaBreak, also look into some other lectures and debates organised within the UvA.
Finding out what’s going on at the faculty
Unlike BètaBreak, the Student’s Colloquium is focussed on science education-related issues. Every 6 weeks a presentation is given by a Master’s or PhD student on his/her research in the BrainWave. The Director of Education (Michel Haring) also provides information on current education-related issues within the faculty. It is definitely worthwhile to at least attend the research presentations, not only to learn about the topic, but also to get some inspiration and insight in what topics you like or dislike when you need to make a career/study choice. Afterwards there are drinks and an opportunity to communicate more informally with the speakers.
The Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (inside the faculty) organises public stargazing nights every last Friday of the month. Of course, stargazing is dependent on clear skies, so when the sky is overcast, you get a tour around the observatory domes and a lecture on the latest research within the institute. Attendance is free, but don’t forget to register.
Of course there are many other things to do in and around Science Park, so if you have any suggestions or maybe a very clear favourite of the activities described above, please feel free to comment.