9. May 2023

With the last Saturday in April another year of BUT Junior ended. The popular project of leisure activities has for many years introduced primary school pupils and students of lower years of multi-year grammar schools to the university environment, modern technologies and the latest scientific knowledge. This year's series of visits offered young scientists an introduction to six faculties and two parts of the BUT. Graduates of the BUT Junior still have to graduate in June.

The last part of the series took place at CEITEC BUT. In the building under Palacký Hill, which is as protected as possible from the transmission of shocks or magnetism, about 40 children were welcomed by Stanislav Průša, a researcher at CEITEC and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. During his introductory lecture, he presented the history, internal structure and open character of the research institution. After getting acquainted with the programme, the audience could, for example, touch the perfect surface of silicon materials or observe a glowing electron beam in a container with neon gas in an electromagnetic field.

Afterwards, a two-hour program and four stations awaited the visitors. At one of them, they learned about preparing to enter and work in clean labs and tried on lab suits resembling spacesuits.

Another station took the form of a walk around the laboratories. Here, the children learned a lot of interesting facts about research and materials processing, how lithography works in chip production, why yellow lighting is used when working with optical varnishes, the difference between nanotechnology and microtechnology, and the amounts of equipment in the labs.

How does an atomic force microscope work? This was the subject of another station, where visitors could also try changing a sample or a microscope tip.

The last station focused on silicon semiconductors. The children tried to cut silicon plates with a diamond cutter and in this way they learned more about the physical properties of silicon.

For the preparation of the programme, many thanks go to the scientists from CEITEC BUT, who were very helpful to the visitors. Some were very excited about the visit. Someone admitted that he enjoyed it more at other faculties. But even such a discovery has its value and that is where the BUT Junior project is valuable. Children have the opportunity to try out different environments and different directions, and to find out in advance what area is inspiring to them and what they might enjoy later on.

During the opening lecture, Stanislav Průša spoke about this. We don't want to tempt you. We are just trying to show what scientific life looks like. When you decide what to do with yourself sometime in your life, you can remember today."

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