The XLAB - Göttingen Experimental Laboratory for Young People was founded in 2000 and has since inspired more than 200,000 adolescents, young adults and teachers for science with its concept "Hands-on - Science at your fingertips". As a central facility of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, our modern building is located on the North Campus within sight of the natural science faculties, the University Medical Center, and the resident Leibniz and Max Planck Institutes. As an extracurricular place of learning, the XLAB offers a motivating environment for learning new things and getting a taste of "university air" - even during the lunch break, because the cafeteria is next door.
Our approach "School Meets Research" means enabling teachers and interested students to work closely with research in well-equipped and authentic laboratories. We offer topics and experiments that cannot usually be carried out in this form at schools. We implement this concept in all subject areas, so that our participants can use a modern mass spectrometer in chemistry, work safely with impressive laser equipment in physics, or work with genetically modified organisms in a safety level S1 laboratory in biology.
This provides an insight into the workings of modern natural sciences, because it is not only about conveying specialist knowledge, but also to a particular extent about how scientists gain new insights, that even in the natural sciences manual skills play an important role and that experiments and contexts cannot really be understood without appropriate basic knowledge. Through this authenticity, our courses can increase interest in the STEM subjects biology, chemistry and physics and thus also form a valuable study and career orientation.
The intense collaboration between XLAB and partners from the University of Göttingen is fostered by a partnership with the International Center for Advanced Studies of Energy Conversion (ICASEC). Within the cooperation, the XLAB expanded their portfolio to the subject of energy conversion which led to the development of new courses, e.G. ‘Thermodynamics and Calorimetry’, emphasizing the importance of energy conversion in physics, chemistry and biology. Furthermore, the ICASEC organizes lab tours for high school students in research laboratories of their affiliated scientists to give an insight into the current research.
The International Center for Advanced Studies of Energy Conversion (ICASEC) aims at a sustained and long term contribution to scientific problems related to the production, consumption and storage of energy in all its forms. Some of society’s most serious and urgent problems derive ultimately from issues of human production and consumption of energy. Hence, energy science and technology development today generally focus either on issues of improving energy production or improving the efficiency of energy use. The sense of social urgency has led to a rapidly growing emphasis on applied research and we risk neglecting long term innovation based on breakthroughs in fundamental understanding that may lead to truly revolutionary new energy technologies. Therefore, the ICASEC intends to support scientists conducting basic research, who are concerned with the fundamental problem of how energy is converted between its various forms.
Likewise, the ICASEC wants to advertise the importance of fundamental research in energy science to the public. Energy conversion science provides a remarkable opportunity for scientific outreach to young people, making ICASEC to a very valuable partner for developing and conducting courses about these important topics of our energy future.