LERU- League of European Research Universities
The LERU–Kids-University project promotes public understanding of research and science. The target group is children aged 10 to 12 years and their parents. Fascination with science begins with curiosity, generating such questions as: "what makes robots clever?", "why do we talk about ‘thin’ air?" or "why don’t the stars fall out of the sky?"
At least 1000 children at each of the ten participating universities in eight European countries and Switzerland will experience exciting experiments and lectures on physics, in its broadest sense, during the Science Week. These will demonstrate the impact of science and physics on everyday life.
Each partner university will arrange its own “Kids University” activities, at the end of October or the beginning of November where children will be invited to an extensive programme in the context of “The Year of Physics”. Topics at the events will range from robotics to nanotechnology, microwaves, particle physics, astronomy and more.
The active presence of female scientists as key members of the project is designed to show that the natural sciences are equally accessible for women. In collaboration with media partners these messages will also be communicated to a broad public audience. The European context of the LERU Kids University will be presented in an exhibition. Each partner will be introduced via a poster, ensuring that the background of the Science Week becomes comprehensible. The exhibition will be accompanied by short films about the participating universities.
A final event, including selected experiments and lectures, will take place in Brussels on 23 November 2005 at the Natural Science Museum.
The message of the Kids University is: universities are partners in lifelong learning and this can take place at a European or international level. Barriers to the understanding of the daily use of physics should be identified and overcome. The principal objective is to foster interest in science and physics on the part of children in Europe.
The project is managed by the League of European Research Universities (LERU) which main objective is to develop joint strategies for the future and communicate them to specific policy-makers or the broader public.