Due to the measures enacted by the federal government to protect against further spread of the corona virus in Austria, the Vienna Children’s University took place purely virtually for the first time in summer 2020. Instead of two weeks at the universities kinderuni.online took place in children’s rooms, in gardens or at swimming pools.
The program was designed by University of Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, the Technical University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, the Vienna University of Veterinary Medicine, the Vienna University of applies science and the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
At kinderuni.online, new subject areas went online every week, showing the diversity of subjects at the participating universities. The scientists offered access to their research areas with videos, podcasts, articles or posters and provided insights into their lives and work with the help of profiles. Each contribution was supplemented with interactive elements in quiz format, such as “fact check”, “shifting stations”, “gap fillers”, “letter salad”, “pairs of twins” … and much more. As a special highlight, there was a family lecture every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the online live stream; questions could also be asked directly to the scientists via chat.
Registration and access to kinderuni.online are free of charge for all children and are possible at any time, as there is no limit to the number of participants or the duration of the program. All children in the entire German-speaking area are invited to explore the world of science! It is also possible to do research as a group at kinderuni.online!
The new form has created an interactive, time-independent and low-threshold format for science education that is suitable for leisure activities as well as for learning together in class. New accesses were created and barriers for children in rural areas were reduced—the percentage of children from the federal states was 40 %!
Thus the Children’s University Vienna remains true to its motto: “We turn the university upside down”—now also online.
The fact that a committed project like kinderuni.online could be conceived and implemented in such a short time is based above all on the long experience of the Children’s Office of the University of Vienna as the organizing team of the Children’s University of Vienna as well as on the trust of its partners.