Universiteit Leiden

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A real professor in front of the class

A lesson about aerodynamics from Vice-Rector Hester Bijl, about child rights by UNICEF professor Ton Liefaard, or about muscles by LUMC professor Annemieke Aartsma-Rus. The University treated school children to guest lectures by professors to celebrate its 444th birthday.

What shape should windmills and aircraft be in order to make them perform optimally? How do muscles work and what happens if they no longer work well because of a genetic condition such as Duchenne?  These were the kinds of questions that pupils from year 7 in schools in Leiden and The Hague were learning about. On the birthday of Leiden University (8 February) they had a lesson given by a real Leiden professor. 

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These Meet the Professor guest lectures were the start of Leiden University's 444 celebrations. In 2019, Leiden University, which was founded in 1575, is 444 years old. The children, from 37 different classes in The Hague and 20 classes in Leiden, 2 in Hillegom and 1 in Leidschendam, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude Rijndijk were given an hour's lesson by a Leiden professor. The pupils had already prepared the the guest lessons together. In six lessons they learned about 'their' professor and his or her research. 

This is what the professors themselves had to say about the lessons:

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