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Visitors @ ASTRON in 2013!

Submitter: Femke Boekhorst
Description: This year, ASTRON has hosted an enormous amount of outreach activities and group visits, and the year isn't over yet! We've made a compilation of the different groups that visited the institute, ranging from primary school students to directors of regional press to ministries and this doesn't even include all the meetings, conferences, courses, individual visitors, colloquia and seminars that also took place at our facilities. ASTRON staff has seen a wide range of visitors passing through, visiting the laboratories, the control room, the newer parts of the ASTRON building such as the recently completed auditorium and the Westerbork and LOFAR telescopes.

ASTRON highly values the visits of primary schools and high schools. Children and young adults can be inspired by astronomy and ASTRON introduces them to the fascinating world of radio astronomy and engineering. Of course we hope to encourage them to choose a technical profile in school and continue into a technological or scientific career.
Besides this we are eager to give the tax payer insight into our activities so they can see how money is being spent. Almost every year, people can take a look behind the scenes at one of our open days, and guided tours are available at the LOFAR telescope via foundation Het Drentse Landschap. We offer many organizations and businesses the chance to visit the facilities of ASTRON.

The photo's above show just a handful of group visits and activities:

  • The first performance of the Dutch theater company "the PeerGroup" playing "the LOFAR Expedition" at the LOFAR telescope, starring comedian Vincent Bijlo (second from the left), well-known from national television.

  • Mosaic of 4 images: The LOFAR Open Day on Saturday 5 October, organized by ASTRON and people from the Discovery Truck of the University of Groningen. ASTRON scientists gave presentations in the high-tech Discovery Truck, there were tours to the LOFAR telescope, and many children's activities: making a water rocket and shooting it into the sky, soldering together a small light or dice, and making exploded stars. The icing on the cake was a treasure hunt for kids. With a mysterious map they could find a treasure (a survival tool) hidden somewhere on the premises.

  • In the week of 7 November the annual NOVA Fall School took place at ASTRON. The group picture at ASTRON's new auditorium shows this year's group of the school, that is meant to broaden the knowledge of astronomy graduate students.

  • On 10 October, directors of the regional radio & TV stations in the Netherlands visited ASTRON for presentations and a tour of the facilities, concluded by a visit to the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Although they were a bit overwhelmed by all the information, we hope some good articles may come of the visit!

  • On 18 October, the institute AMOLF, one of the research laboratories of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM,) spent the day at the facilities of ASTRON in Dwingeloo and at the Westerbork telescope. With a full programme, the PostDocs and PhD students of this fellow NWO-institute discovered all about our scientific and technological activities.
  • Copyright: ASTRON
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