Exposing the invisible trace of the germs in the black box
On 11 August 2012 from 1 pm, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) holds an open day, open to the public, at its Berlin-Marienfelde location on Diedersdorfer Weg. Different activities for the whole family are offered on the subject of safe food, cosmetics and intoxication: visitors can discover germs in the fridge, mix the ingredients in cosmetics and soaps and learn to identify poisonous plants. A stage programme with extracts from this year’s Science Slams as well as music, barbecued food and cold drinks complete the celebration. The activities will end at around 6 pm, whereas food, drinks and music will continue until 9 pm.
Under the slogan “Discover germs”, visitors learn, with the help of a “Black Box” in which the germs are made visible with black light, how they multiply and how they can spread in food and in the fridge. There will be an error fridge which the visitors can fill with food observing the rules of food hygiene. The aim is to avoid the spread of putrefaction and pathogenic germs. In the game “Hit the germ”, the challenge is to identify the pathogenic germ and to get rid of it. The quiz for children and adults on the subject of food safety reinforces learned material.
Using the example of hand creams and soap, explanations are provided on the ingredients contained in cosmetics products, what function they have, and their significance for human health. Those keen to try things for themselves can make their own soap free of charge from raw soap and different materials such as lavender blossoms and scented oils.
On the open day, a “Little Poison Garden” will present typical poisonous plants that grow in the wild in our latitude. Visitors can learn to recognise poisonous plants and find out how dangerous they are for them and their family.
As part of the stage programme, school children can become little scientists and extract the genetic material DNA from a banana. In addition, some BfR slammers from the first BfR Science Slam which took place in May this year gave their short speeches again on the open day. As part of the BfR Slam, BfR scientists present their research in an entertaining and easy-to-understand manner. In addition, visitors learn what things to watch out for to ensure sustainable washing (up).
The event also makes sure visitors get exercise and sustenance. There is a bouncy castle for children, competitions, scrumptious food from the barbecue, cold drinks and freshly tapped beer as well as music.
About the BfR
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the BfR, the institute has published an anniversary brochure. Beside examples from 10 years of scientific work in the service of consumer health protection, the 43-page brochure also contains background information on the institute, its working method and history. The brochure "10 Years of BfR" can be downloaded or ordered free of charge at www.bfr.bund.de.
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