SNUS at Summer Music Festival
Pic. 1: Waiting for the first visitor
This summer the Slovak Nuclear Society (SNUS) participated for second time in the summer music festival called Bažant Pohoda 2012. The objective was to communicate with young people (aged 20 - 40 years) on all aspects of using nuclear energy and ionising radiation. The level of interest shown by participants at the festival and the positive reactions that were received following last-year’s event were very good. So, we decided to attend the festival for the second time.
Pic. 2: Kiosk with informative posters
The main organiser of SNUS’s activities was, naturally, the SNUS Young Generation (YGN) chapter. The goal of the team led by Vladimír Míchal was clear - to increase the quality of the SNUS “info-kiosk” compared with last year – and last year’s was already pretty good. Around 20 YGN volunteers from companies like Areva, DECOM, JAVYS, JESS, Comenius University and the Slovak Technical University accepted the responsibility of achieving this ambitious goal.
Pic. 3: Measurement in progress
As was the case year last year, visitors to the SNUS info-kiosk were given an opportunity to learn about nuclear-related topics thanks to a wide range of information tools, posters, papers written by university students and online presentations. Our demonstration of the measurement of radioactivity in objects (bracelets, mobile phones, pendants…) attracted considerable attention from festival-goers. However, the greatest focus of attention was the competition that was organised, with a Merida mountain bike offered as the prize to the winner. Competitors had to shield with their body a gamma spectrum detector, so that it could record the lowest number of photons in the “natural background.” The creativity of competitors was amazing - many of them performed unbelievable gymnastics and we even registered one attempt to shield gamma photons by using mental energyJ. This attempt was rewarded with a copy of the book Atoms in Slovakia. This should also give the winner some useful knowledge for next-year’s competition.
Pic. 4: High level of interest
The competition’s first prize was very attractive and the interest of competitors was just amazing. From Thursday to Saturday measurement of gamma quanta was carried out everywhere. The final count was 406 visitors! The final ceremony, during which the announcement of winner was made, attracted by so many people that I was afraid that the festival’s organisers would come to throw us out. J The lucky winner won by just several gamma photons, and the bike got a new owner – Mary who, by chance, lives in Switzerland. There could only be one winner, but all participants were given gifts such as T-shirts, caps, backpacks and badges.
Pic. 5: First price
The competition was, however, not the only activity at the festival. The fact that hundreds of visitors left with a positive attitude toward nuclear energy testified to this. Nuclear opponents could be counted on the fingers of one hand. There were top quality discussions and many visitors spent more than half an hour with us and got a lot of new knowledge about nuclear energy. As we were dismantling the info-kiosk, we came to the unanimous verdict that it was mission accomplished!
Pic. 6: Some won t-shirt...
This successful event was made possible also due to support and assistance of many people and organisations. A special word of thanks goes to the Association of Country Tourism, at Horná Seč, for providing tents and power sources and for their many mebers who helped organise this activity. They also provided transport, the instruments for doing the measurements, the money for running the competition etc. We would also like to thank the other sponsors (the universities, the utility Slovenské Elektrárne and many others). We are convinced that this is a project worth continuing with. I believe that we will write another chapter of the story next year!
Pic. 7: ... and some bike!
SNUS Young Generation
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava