A Science Journey: Group Leader addresses thousands of students via video link

Science communication took on a whole new meaning when NCMM Group Leader, Irep Gözen, head of the Bionanotechnology and Membrane Systems Group, addressed thousands of students on Wednesday 6 December.

Photo from MOOC

Live lecture and demonstration from PhD students (L-R) Elif Köksal and Ganna Reint, with Irep Gözen and cameraman,Tor Torgersen. Photo: NCMM

Screenshot of schools online
A screenshot of the many different schools from all over Turkey, watching Irep's lecture. 

The event came as part of the ‘Science Journey’ programme; an online educational platform which started out as a volunteer project by Aysenur Ozdemir, a Turkish high school Physics teacher, in 2009. The courses have since captured significant attention from schools and students, reaching pupils from elementary through to high school level. Since 2014, the lectures have been supported by the Turkish Ministry of National Education.

Educating and inspiring students about science

Speakers from several prestigious organisations, such as NASA, CERN, Harvard and MIT are also part of the e-lecture series. All talks are done in Turkish, and aim to inspire Turkish schoolchildren and students by demonstrating the applications of basic science and, through the selected speakers, educate them more about the fantastic possibilities that a career in science can bring.

Irep gave her lecture, ‘Soft Matter and Artificial Cell Concepts’ via live video-link to over 90 schools, each with between 50 and 100 students tuning in from each school to watch the presentation.

Live experiments to demonstrate how soft matter works

Photo of live experiment
Ganna Reint (left) and Elif Köksal demonstrating the properties of corn starch when exposed to varying sound waves. Photo: NCMM

PhD students in the Gözen Group, Ganna Reint and Elif Köksal, were also on hand to conduct a series of fun and simple live experiments throughout the presentation, to show how soft matter reacts under certain conditions. After the presentation, students then had the opportunity to ask Irep questions directly via the video link.

Inspiring and motivating project

Commenting on her experience with the Science Journey initiative, Irep Gözen said,

“The live presentation was a huge success – at one point over 90 schools were connected, which means we were streaming to between 4500-9000 students which is really quite incredible.”

“It was so amazing for me to be able to speak directly to these students from all over Turkey and to see how excited they were to be watching us in Oslo, and to also hear so many excellent questions.”

“It was a very inspiring and motivating programme to be a part of, and it just goes to show how important communication is when it comes to building interest and support for basic scientific research." 

"I also hope I managed to encourage some of the students to perhaps consider a career within the sciences.”

For further information, visit: https://bilimyolculari.com/ (Turkish only)

Shot of schools connecting
 Pupils from a school in Akbulak Village of Van, a province at the farthest East of Turkey, enjoying Irep's lecture.
By Annabel Darby
Published Dec. 8, 2017 3:13 PM - Last modified Dec. 9, 2017 2:13 PM