The Experimenta fair-contest, convened by the Faculty of Physics of the University of Valencia, celebrated its XVII edition on Sunday, April 10, at the Valencia Science Museum. After a couple of years of limited presence due to the pandemic, more than 2,500 people attended the exhibition of the 68 scientific and technological projects presented and explained by ESO, Baccalaureate and vocational training students, of which 57% were women. Between students and teachers, this edition brought together 270 participants.
The objective of the initiative is for the participating students to prepare experimental projects in the STEM field with the help of the teachers who tutor them, and show them and explain them to the visiting public during the event, and also answer their questions. The demonstrations are free-theme, although they must highlight some physical principle or practical application and, especially, their interrelation.
From the opening of the doors, at 10 in the morning, the participating groups presented their projects, both to the members of the jury who evaluated their proposal for the awards ceremony and to those people who, with interest, approached their positions during the three hours that the event lasted.
At the same time, girls and boys had at their disposal four thematic tables differentiated by age in the Fisicalandia children’s workshop, where through games and experiences they were able to understand simple demonstrations based on natural phenomena. On this occasion, the activities consisted of the flower that opens, the Cartesian diver, terrestrial magnetism and playdough circuits.
At 1 in the afternoon, after the siren had sounded announcing the end of the exhibition, spontaneous applause resounded throughout the venue to celebrate the intense day. Afterwards, the participating groups went to the museum’s Grisolía Auditorium to attend the awards ceremony.
Members of the Photonets group of the University of Valencia introduced the act with the show “Primary Colours”. After the intervention of the institutional authorities, the international participation of several groups from Latvia, Belgium, Italy and Portugal, members of the Erasmus+ Science is all around network that have been part of this year’s fair-contest, was recognised.
XVII Experimenta Fair Awards
The award-winning projects in the different categories of the fair were “The drive saves lives” from the San José de la Montaña school in Cheste (Physics-ESO category), “How do you calculate the distance?”, from the English School Los Olivos de Godella (Physics-Baccalaureate); “Michael Jackson’s triple”, from the Gençana de Godella Educational Centre (Technology-ESO) and “The submarine vehicle” from the Moixent’s IES Moixent (Technology-Baccalaureate). The Pío XII school in Valencia won the public award with «Wind Tunnel». Another 12 groups obtained different honourable mentions.
Likewise, the students of the 17 classified projects will show them again in Experimenta TOP during the Expociència conference, organised on May 28 by the University of Valencia Science Park. Their explanations will be recorded and open-access published.
The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology – Ministry of Science and Innovation (FECYT-MICIN), the Valencia Science Museum-CAC, the Valencia City Council, the Corpuscular Physics Institute (IFIC), the Càtedra de Divulgació de la Ciència, UV Delegation for University Integration, Equality Unit, Archimedes Physics work group. Likewise, other external entities such as the Royal Spanish Society of Physics (RSEF) and its Physics Dissemination and Teaching Division (DEDF), the Association of Technology Professors of the Valencian Community (APTCV), Analog Devices, Prodel, Ventus, IPN-Bio projects and ScienceFlows.
Translated: Amaia Crespo