Superlecture draws high school students by the dozen – University of Copenhagen

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24 January 2014

Superlecture draws high school students by the dozen


It is one of the largest recruiting initiatives at UCPH, yet targeted entirely towards high school students with an interest in chemistry. With more than 1,200 high school students visiting over the course of a week, the 2014 installment of the legendary chemistry lecture and associated demonstrations had the greatest attendance ever.

Associate Professor Anders Døssing presented a typically colorful, smoking and at times slightly dangerous display of chemistry for an audience of bright, curious youth.

Associate Professor Anders Døssing has been in charge of the lectures for several years, but still manages to keep them fresh for new generations of visitors.

Traditions and surprises

Even though the Department of Chemistry has held the entertaining lecture with various speakers for nearly 30 years, this year’s high school students didn’t give any impression whatsoever that the show had become rusty. As if on command, they craned their necks at the beautiful changes of colours, and jumped in their seats at the eruption of a bang.

Important lecture curried with recruiting activities

The many high school students come to UCPH primarily to see chemistry that their teachers cannot show them in the school labs. But of course the Depaartment takes the opportunity to tell the many young visitors about the options for a chemistry education at UCPH, the many career paths opening up to a chemistry graduate and the huge need of society for more chemists.

During the lecture, Department of Chemistry Lecture Guide Rune Kragsberger handed out some 1,400 brochures about the chemistry programme and about the Faculty of Science’s other 21 Bachelor programmes.

Speaking of usefulnes

Before each lecture, Jes Andersen, the department’s Communication’s Officer held a five-minute presentation explaining why high school students should strive for admission to the chemistry programme. His main point was that chemists are the ones best-suited to provide solutions for the challenges humanity faces in light of a continuously growing global population: Because chemists ensure for fertilizers that make the feeding of eight billion people possible; because chemists ensure the development of medicines for a growing population; because chemists will discover new energy sources to make certain that we will still have light and warmth when the oil runs out.