VědaFest 2021: from online to the real world

13. 09. 2021

Last year, the annual outdoor Science Festival took place in the online form only. But this year there took place on September 8 physically again, under the new name VědaFest (ScienceFest), with the subtitle Fun Science Laboratory on Kulaťák („Kulaťák“ is an informal name for the Vítězné náměstí – Victory Square – in Prague´s quarter Dejvice). The stand of the NPI of the CAS could not be missed here.

After a long time, some of us had the opportunity to put on NPI T-shirts for presentation again. As in previous years, Department of Radiation Dosimetry (DRD) had a significant role in our stand: Marek Sommer and Martina Lužová showed (in operation) detectors and other devices used, i.e., in the CRREAT project. For example Timepix, which measured radiation emitted by a uranium glass, or scintillation detector. DRD employees – more concrete, Iva Ambrožová and Martin Kákona – were also on display at a separate stand of the Space for Mankind project, in which NPI also participates. Pavel Krist from the Department of Accelerators introduced an ionizing radiation detector working as a dosimeter in mixed fields or as a charged particle spectrometer with a very low detection threshold. The credit card-sized detector, developed in collaboration with Develict Solutions company, is powered by two AAA batteries and is able to communicate via the Internet of Things (IoT).


From the left side: Pavel Krist and Marek Sommer in NPI T-shirts are explaining nuclear problems to the pupils, Pavel Šimek in the backgroud close to posters is waiting for his turn

There were slightly fewer stands on Kulaťák this year than in previous years – they all fit on the grassy area of ​​the square, while the alley to the National Technical Library remained empty this time. Despite certain restrictions in the catering and service for the stands, however, we did not have the impression that the ranks of those interested in this event would somehow thin out. Among the estimated many tens to several hundred visitors of our stand, primary school pupils again overdominated, but there were also quite a few high school and university students, as well as older professionals. We also had discussions with colleagues from other institutes of the CAS and university workplaces, either at our or at their stands. We has given copies of NPI brochure to visitors seriously interested in our work; publications on ionizing radiation, magazines published by the CAS, and other materials were also available free of charge.

Petr Chudoba from the Department of Nuclear Spectroscopy presented the ECAL detector segments for the HADES spectrometer in limited functional operation, on which he is working as part of building a large FAIR research infrastructure – with NPI participating – in Darmstadt, Germany. Radiocarbon dating methods, including the RAMSES project, were presented by Pavel Šimek from DRD, in the form of a commentary to the poster. The appearance of our stand was completed by other posters, representing NPI as a whole and our accelerators separately, two banners approached the activities of DRD.


Marek Sommer is showing (in operation) detector Timepix measuring radiation emitted by a uranium glass, red scintillation detector is under the table

The organizers of the event (held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Czech Republic) were CTU in Prague, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, and the House of Children and Youth of the Capital City Prague. VědaFest is intended for primary and secondary school students, as well as university students and the general public. The event also has its online form, in which it will last until the end of October on the website