Every year, a small team at HZB organises the International Summer Students Programme. This summer, 13 young people came from Kenya, Colombia, Serbia and other countries. At the final conference, all students presented their projects with flash talks and posters. The best poster and the most intriguing blog post were elected – a difficult process, since the quality was really very good.
It is really amazing, such an output in just eight weeks, one of the supervisors remarked during coffeetime at the final presentation. Sure, said another: “Instead of going to the beach and relaxing on holiday, they decided to do two months of lab. Who does something like that? Only the really motivated ones.”
Indeed, the summer students spared no effort: they studied solar cells, analysed complex materials, developed software and learned to operate the most complicated laboratory technology – and along the way they danced, visited museums and discovered Berlin. They recorded how they fared in their blog entries, which were published this year on the Helmholtz Augenspiegel blog: From the difficulties in the Berlin housing market to the fear of making mistakes in the lab up to original ways to discover Berlin.
The final presentation was another challenge: A “flash presentation” on only one slide and only two minutes to present their project. Afterwards, they could tell more about their work at the poster session. And they did.
The best poster
A jury selected the best poster, based on aspects such as design, good communication and scientific achievement. Milanka Lovic from Serbia was convincing on all three points. Her poster about nanodiamond materials was not only particularly beautiful, but she also clearly highlighted the most important result and explained it really well, even to lay persons.
The most beautiful blog post
At the final presentation everybody received three little sticky stars to distribute on the 13 blogposts and vote for the best one. With thoughts on doubts and perseverance in “The Soliloquy of the Man behind the Lab Coat”, Ricardo Mogollon from Colombia earned the prize.
“Kings of hearts” with an enormous number of positive comments are Lucas Odhiambo Sije and Rodgers Otieno. “I didn’t know I enjoyed writing so much,” said one of the students later at the closing barbecue.