| Twelve students from the Gymnasium of the big city of Kurgan, Russia (South Siberia) and eight Dutch students from the athenaeum and gymnasium of the ‘big city’ of Coevorden visited ASTRON last Thursday 21 April. This visit was part of an exchange program between both cities. Besides the students, also teachers were present.
They got an impressive astromical talk from Vlad Kondratiev with an introduction on astronomy and details on the WSRT, LOFAR and SKA. Besides that, Vlad had to answer, during the break, questions from the Russian students about living in the Netherlands. Johan Pragt showed how an opto-mechanical instrument is developed from optical design to installation on the telescope in Chile.
Hands-on activity was guided by Stefan Wijnholds for a half hour ‘girls-day’ workshop on a LOFAR-HBA antenna and by Gabby Kroes on a workshop of optical instruments. A photograph at the Dwingeloo telescope closed this international visit.
The reactions afterwards were extreme positive. ASTRON presented itself as an impressive institute, with its strength build on several disciplines (e.g. astronomical and technical science) and an open and international community. Thank you Vlad, Stefan, Gabby and Johan.