BETA seminar for students - an opportunity to ignite a spark of curiosity

On December 4, 2020, ISSP UL hosted one of the three “BETA” practical seminars for secondary school students (grades 10-12). The seminars were organized within the framework of the ESF project “Implementation of National and International Measures for the Development of Educational Talents” in order to promote the development of individual competencies of students in general education institutions. This seminar was an opportunity to address secondary school students who are fascinated by natural sciences and show the opportunities that the studying of physics offer and not only in the bachelor’s study program, but also in the new master’s study program developed at the University of Latvia with the support of the CAMART2 project.

During two hours, students could learn about current research directions in Latvia and the world. Head of the newly established Laboratory of prototyping of electronic and photonic devices Gatis Mozoļevskis led an online lecture on the manufacture of micro and nano devices, while the leading researcher from the same laboratory, Roberts Rimša - about microfluidics - its basic principles and applications. The third online lecture was led by leading researcher, head of the Spectroscopy Laboratory and Deputy Director for Education Dr.phys Anatolijs Šarakovskis, who introduced the students with everyday life at the ISSP UL with the help of video material, showing the institute as an ideal place for zealous and curious researchers to practice science and innovation.

36 students from various Latvian schools participated in the seminar organized by ISSP UL. Most of the seminar attendees currently are in grade 10. They motivated participation in the seminar with the desire to find out what is happening in Latvian science, what new research directions are being developed. Also, quite a few participants have already decided to link their future with the field of physics, so they took the opportunity to virtually visit the institute’s laboratories and find out the issues of interest.

Anatolijs Šarakovskis commented after the seminar: “It is a great pleasure that such events are organized and that the existing conditions do not affect children’s interest in exact sciences, perhaps on the contrary - it increases it! I was pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness and interest in understanding what was being said and asking clarifying questions to the lecturers without hesitation. ”