Science goes to school

Mülheim students visit MPI CEC

Our institute considers the promotion of young talents very important. As often as possible, we try to open our doors to students and explain our research and what it is like to be a scientist.

Last week, around twenty high school students from the Willy Brandt School in Mülheim, the Luisen School and the Karl Ziegler School had the opportunity to take a closer look at the daily business at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion.

On three days, the students visited the Haus Ruhrnatur, the Hochschule-Ruhr-West and the MPI CEC and gained insights into bionics and the structure of matter. The cooperation between the three Mülheim institutions has existed since 2016. Every year, a selected group of students can take part in this very special excursion shortly before the summer vacation begins.

At the MPI CEC, the students first got an introduction to the world of molecules with a "3D molecular cinema" by Prof. Alexander Auer. Dr. Thomas Weyhermüller then explained the highly complex NMR spectroscopy (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to the group by illustrating this method for studying the electronic environment of individual atoms by using everyday objects as an example: The difference between Coke and Coke light or between aspirin and ibuprofen suddenly became very clear.
In addition, the students marveled at a wide variety of facilities and laboratory equipment, such as the ultra-modern, unique laboratory spectrometer for X-ray emission spectroscopy, affectionately called "Emma" at the institute because it resembles a locomotive. Finally, the group enjoyed a spectacular view over Mülheim and the Ruhr area from the roof of the institute, on which a research photovoltaic system is located.

An article about the excursion can be read in the local blog lokalkompass and the Mülheimer Woche.