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Auricher Wissenschaftstage –
Forum einer dritten Kultur

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Beitrag zum Heft des Fahrtabschnitts ANT-XIX/3 der „Polarstern“

Who the hell are THEY??????

When stumbling across a handful of people who just seem too young to be successful scientists yet, you might start wondering who the hell these people are and where they come from. „Shouldn't they be at school at this age?“ might be another question racing through your mind.

Well, we would be too, probably despairing over Maths exams if it weren't for the Alfred-Wegener-Institute Bremerhaven, to which we are very grateful.

And this is the story how we came on board Polarstern: For many years our schools, the Gymnasium Ulricianum and the BBS II Aurich (East Frisia), have organized the Wissenschaftstage (Science Days), in the course of which famous scientists from all over Germany make their way to Aurich to give a speech about a topical scientific project or their work as a scientist in general. The aim of the Wissenschaftstage is to create a forum of a third culture where science and humanities can meet and misunderstandings be dispelled. Recently polar research has been a topic of several speeches, given by various scientists of the AWI. A very special event for our school was last year's opening speech by Professor Thiede, at the end of which there was a life link-up to the Neumayer-Station.

Another aspect of the Wissenschaftstage is the scholarship programme, in which participating students get the opportunity to experience science not only in dusty classrooms with teachers standing behind them with a red marker, but live and unplugged. One of the institutes which has provided shelter for many students during the past years was the AWI.

This time, however, the AWI not only offered places in their ice-cellars, but even four places on the Polarstern. The four of us, Katharina Voigt (17), Mareike Aden (18), Markus Seemann (18) and Fadi Ramadan (18), were the lucky ones who were selected to go on this fantastic expedition, which will certainly be an experience of a life-time for all of us.

During the trip from Punta Arenas to the Antarctic each of us will participate in one of the projects going on on board. Accordingly, Marcus will work with Dr. Uwe Piatkowski, who examines cephalopods. Katharina chose to participate in the project of Dr. Karl-Hermann Kock, who will investigate the density of fish in the surroundings of Elephant Island and the South Shetland Islands. Fadi will work together with Dr. Rüdiger Riehl and examine the eggs and sperms of Antarctic fish. More specifically, Fadi will focus on the methods used during this project. Mareike selected the project of Professor Joseph Eastman, whose research project will concentrate on buoyancy and morphological studies of notothenoid fishes.

Aboard we will write an assessment of the scientific insights we have gained. Mareike will apart from that investigate the topic of scientific journalism and the new possibilities that are offered to scientists to publicize their work.

Although our school is far away from the Antarctic we didn't manage to completely leave school and the previously mentioned Maths exams behind: Mrs. Scherf and Mr. Stracke (two Maths-teachers by the way) will be a constant reminder of school life. Coaching, teaching and keeping contact with the school are their declared ambitions. However, they couldn't totally convince us that taking care that we behave properly wasn't another reason for their presence on board. Honestly though, we very much appreciate the fact that they are prepared to do so. Furthermore, they will assist us in organizing an exhibition for the general public about this trip and the experiences made. We hope it will be a safe one, anyway. And so does the German Minister of Science and Education, Mrs. Bulmahn, who sent her best whishes for the Polarstern Expedition.

Students: Mareike Aden, Fadi Ramadan, Markus Seemann, Katharina Voigt
Teachers: Regina Scherf, Alexander Stracke

Praktika auf der „Polarstern“ | Seitenanfang