21
Feb
2017

”I put my hand inside the stomach of a cow!”

Physics and biotechnology students gaining insight into everyday life of scientists.

Excursions to the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, both departments at Aarhus University.

At the Centre for Food and Agriculture the students learned about bioactive substances in foods, diagnosing of cancer and the impact of feed mixtures on cows’ methane emissions.

“I have gained insight into how scientists work. We have seen how they conduct experiments with cell cultures and on cows,” Mikkel, 3.v, explains.

“It was a very fascinating experience,” Marie-Louise, 3.v, adds. “We were introduced to microbiology when we got to try to diagnose cells for cancer. It was also interesting to see how research cows live.”

“The students had the opportunity to put their hand inside a cow’s stomach to feel how it worked. To some this was quite discomforting and others just had to try it,” teacher Tina Trold explains. “The research cow just kept eating, absolutely unaffected by the situation.”

The Physics students in 3.x also got to experience the work of scientists first hand. They were given a guided tour at the department by Thomas Guldager Skov, a former student at Grenaa Gymnasium. After that, Mick Kristensen, another former student at Grenaa Gymnasium who is now a PhD-student, explained to them about his research on extremely low temperatures, which allow scientists to work with superconductive materials.

“In a chamber at Mick’s lab the temperature is down to 4 nano-kelvin. This is 4 thousands of a millionth degree above the absolute zero, minus 273.15 degrees Celcius. So it is actually one of the coldest places in the universe,” teacher Jesper Munk explains. “The students were thrilled of what they saw and heard.”