Universiteit Leiden

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Try-out Day at Leiden University

On Friday April 6th, Leiden University organizes its biannual try-out day. We pay a visit to Physics and Astronomy, which saw their student numbers almost quadruple over the past decade.

Before the participating high school students experience an afternoon of being an actual college student, they first get a taste from stories of current students. They talk about Leiden student life and what a typical day looks like on the science campus. Teachers show what makes physics and astronomy interesting, such as the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics, the recently observed gravitational waves or the complex structure of DNA. Just before lunch, the participants hear about the career perspective of graduated physicists and astronomers and chat informally with researchers.

After the lunch break, the high school students get a chance to experience a real-life afternoon at university. First they attend a lecture on special relativity or the origin of life. Next they perform experiments in which they study exoplanet HD209458b or discover how a superconductor behaves at ultra-low temperatures. Meanwhile, parents participate in a forum where they can ask questions to professors and study advisors.