DICP held their 16th Annual Public Science Day on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16. The gates of the Institute, which are normally closed to the public, were opened up allowing the public to get a glimpse of the science taking place in DICP’s laboratories and visit the beautiful botanical garden that makes up the DICP campus. The annual Public Science Day, which has been a tradition at DICP since 1999, serves as a prime opportunity for DICP researchers to convey to the public achievements at the Institute, as well as arouse public enthusiasm in and advocate for the importance of science and technology in China.
More than 8000 visitors - from primary and college students to parents and grandparents – participated in the two-day event, reaching an all-time attendance record for the event. Twelve departments at DICP, including Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL), State Key Laboratory of Molecular Reaction Dynamics, and State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, opened up some of their laboratories to the public and created 25 exhibits which included hands-on activities and demonstrations by DICP volunteers. The over 230 volunteers, which were graduates and staff at the Institute, patiently explained scientific principles to the visitors and gave them a chance to see the world-class research facilities at DICP.
Some of the volunteers led scientific demonstrations and allowed the participants to perform their own scientific experiments. For example, at the Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, volunteers led visitors through a “Fantastic Voyage: The Process of Organic Synthesis,” in which a number of colorful organic chemicals were on display and willing participants could induce color changes themselves through mixing of different chemicals. Other exhibits entitled, “The Magic of Solar Energy: Photocatalysis and Photovoltaic Cells” and “Turning Biomass to Energy in High Efficiency” were also very popular with the visitors.
In addition to activities, a special lecture was given by CAS Academician, Guohe SHA, as well as several lectures by graduate students. The lectures were so popular that two additional lectures were added in order to fulfill the demand. Visitors young and old alike displayed are freshing curiosity to learn more about the science happening at DICP.
The day proved to be a great success, with visitors leaving the campus full of smiles and wonder. Teachers, students, and interested citizens all seemed to have had a memorable experience. One volunteer, Lei ZHENG, noted how impressed he was by a young girl, who was very curious about what she had learned during her visit to DICP. Following the tour, the little girl told ZHENG that she wanted to be a scientist when she grew up. Her grandmother, who was accompanying her, told her that she would have to study hard to be a good scientist. The little girl responded, “I will study hard from now and be a scientist at DICP when I grow up.”