As the song goes, “children are our future” and in Switzerland the Schweizer Jugend Forscht (SJF) exists to encourage that future to include science.
The Schweizer Jugend Forscht, or in English, Swiss Youth in Science, is a non-profit foundation with the aim of encouraging students to develop an interest in science and to motivate them to do independent research.
To help in this effort, science teachers from across Switzerland are recruited by the SJF as ambassadors. The SJF and the ambassadors work together to both encourage the students and to recognize talent through project contests, mentoring and awards, that sometimes include trips meeting other scientists across Europe.
SJF Learns about the Centennial
As part of a mini-IBM Centennial colloquia, the SJF had its annual ambassadors meeting at the IBM Research lab in Zurich earlier this week. Prof. Dr. Heinz Müller, president of SJF welcomed the 60 ambassadors from 14 Swiss cantons in attendance by saying, “Migros talks about nanos and Apple talks about nano iPods, but the real nano happens right here at IBM Research.”
After updating the ambassadors on the latest projects Dr. Matthias Kaiserswerth, director, IBM Research – Zurich, presented IBM’s Centennial and the themes of our celebratory year. Matthias was followed by Dr. Paul Seidler, coordinator of the new nanotechnology center, who introduced the world of nanoscience.
Following the presentations, the ambassadors were treated to a tour of the new nanotechnology center, where they saw the clean rooms, unique noise free labs and the various “green” aspects of the building, from the geothermal heating to the solar panels on the roof.
Throughout the tour you could tell they were impressed with words including “fascinating”, “inspiring” and “incredible” echoing throughout the still empty facility.