Empar Vengut Climent / The XIV Edition of the Experimenta Fair-Contest 2018 was held on Sunday, April 7. Experimenta is organised every year by the Faculty of Physics of the University of Valencia. This initiative aims to convert Secondary Education students (ESO girls and boys, Baccalaureate and Intermediate Training Cycles) into active and creative protagonists, as well as science communicators. During the whole morning, the students show and explain their Physics and Technology experiments to all visitors approaching their stands. It is surprising how high school students interact with their audience, how they offer them direct interaction with their project in order to explain and confirm what they are displaying and, overall, how they use metaphors to explain the most complex details of their experiment. Most of them forget about their shyness once they have explained their experiment three or four times. They smile, they are kind and they also try to connect and captivate their audience.
Since 2015, the event has been held in the Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, where, among the DNA double helix sculpture and the Foucault pendulum replica, 300 students showed around 90 scientific projects. The experiments stood out for their creativity and originality, showing how the fair is becoming more established as time passes by. In fact, this year, Experimenta had international schools participating, namely, 3 schools from Macao (China) and one from South Africa.
Moreover, Experimenta also includes a contest for the best projects presented during the fair. The project “Música, maestro” from the students of IES Dr. Peset Aleixandre of Paterna, obtained the prize for Physics at ESO level, while, “Maxwell y la velocidad de la luz” (Maxwell and the speed of light), from the English School Los Olivos of Godella, was awarded the prize for Physics at the higher level (Baccalaureate and Intermediate Training Cycles). The technological applications (ESO level) prize was for the project “Maqueta de un aparcamiento” (Parking mock-up), presented by IES Benlliure of Valencia students, while the Baccalaureate and Intermediate Training Cycles level prize was for the project “6-D Bot Explorer”, from the Southafrican Sutherland High School students. The audience prize was awarded to the “Hivernacle” project (Greenhouse) from Colegio Claret Fuensanta of Valencia.
The Experimenta organising committee is already starting to plan the next edition and is formed by Chantal Ferrer Roca (coordination), Miguel V. Andrés, Jordi Vidal and Amparo Pons. Moreover, the collaborators of this initiative are: The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT-MEIC), the Principe Felipe Science Museum, the Valencia City Council, IFIC-Excelencia S. Ochoa, the Spanish Royal Society of Physics, the Chair for Scientific Dissemination of the UV, the Delegation for university integration, the Centre of Education and Quality (UV), the Equality Unit; the Arquimedes Physics Working Group, the Scienceflows group, and other external entities among which Caixa Popular, APTCV, and Prodel stand out.
El País: Entusiastas de la ciencia (Spanish)