This project aims at offering experiments and supplementary materials to foster and support a flow of basic ideas, methods and key results from the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) to the public. The primary target group comprises pupils and teachers in grades 8 through 13. They are addressed by the educational lab SCIphyLAB_nano which has been founded in the second period of the SFB (during the initial period of the project Ö), and was visited by more than 570 young people from October 2017 through September 2018. Thus, the project will bridge the gap between disciplinary research, education and public relations in the promising field of nanoscience.

For the educational lab, modules for classes of grade 8 and 9 have been developed since 2015 and will be offered, evaluated and further optimized within the third project period. They shall help pupils to grasp a general understanding of basic physical principles of nanoswitches, on basic methods of investigation as used in the SFB as well as on selected fundamental aspects of science. In particular, the SFB is well suited to demonstrate today’s cooperative and communicative nature of scientific work. This was successfully shown in this ongoing second period of the SFB. The third project period will be used to prepare materials for demonstrating the interaction of applied and fundamental research as well as the interaction of experimental studies and theoretical modeling in addition. This is accompanied by adding senior classes in physics and chemistry of grades 10 through 13 to the primary target group. The application and evaluation of modules for these pupils will be a further main topic of the project in its third period. In addition to these measures, which address groups of pupils in their school framework, a series of special workshops shall inspire highly interested individual girls and boys to gather first research experiences in the framework of the SFB. Regular teacher training workshops will promote both the lab visits of school classes (of grade 8 and 9) and courses (of grade 10 through 13) and the workshops for individual pupils. Furthermore, it is planned to offer two special measures addressing in particular young girls.

Through making groundbreaking interdisciplinary nanoscience accessible by sparking pupils’ interest in the stories nanotechnology, and nanoswitching in particular, have to tell, we will work towards our goal to inspire young people to enter into this promising field of research.

Beyond the manifold activities of the educational lab for the future generation, the project also aims to reach out to the general public, e.g. through supporting scientific exhibitions for the general public or creating multimedia applications that will present the basic ideas of the SFB in an approachable manner. In addition, efforts in initiating a Germany-wide network of public relations projects focusing on pupils will continue.