100 kindergarten kids do experiments at HZB on the Day of Little Researchers

The kids built spectroscopes and studied the colours of light. photo: HZB/S.Zerbe

The kids built spectroscopes and studied the colours of light. photo: HZB/S.Zerbe

Kindergarten children are inquisitive and want to know how everything works – and they ask a great deal of questions. On the Germany-wide "Day of Little Researchers" on 19 June, around 100 kids visited the HZB School Labs in Adlershof and Wannsee and investigated the colours of light.

The kids, aged five to six years, built spectroscopes out of cardboard and a segment of a CD. They then studied the colours of light coming from different light sources. "This was the second time we participated in the Day of Little Researchers, and we really enjoyed it. Even though these kids were much younger than those we see on our usual project days, they worked very concentratedly and with great curiosity," says Dagmar Köpnick-Welzel, who supervised the special day at the School Lab in Wannsee.

Three workshops were offered for preschoolers at each HZB location – but the demand was still too great. That goes to show how the concept – simple experiments even for very young children – is hugely popular among parents and childcare facilities. The School Labs therefore gave interested colleagues quick instructions and the materials to build a spectroscope so that they could get kids to perform the same experiment out at daycare centres as well.

About the special day

The "Day of Little Researchers" is a Germany-wide day of action for everyone who wants to promote the spirit of research in children of kindergarten and primary school age. The motto of this year's day was "Let's discover the world together. Find variety in everyday life." The Helmholtz Association helps fund this initiative, which has been held in June every year since 2009.