After the 9th Hessian Student Academy for Middle Schools had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic, a modified version was set up for this year.
During the first week of their summer vacation from July 18th to 27th, 60 German school grades seven to nine from all over Hesse took part in the hybrid version of the academy. While half of them participated at Burg Fürsteneck in Eiterfeld, the other half participated online. After half the time, they switched so that all of them had the chance to meet at Burg Fürsteneck.
Despite the restrictions, exciting topics were once again in the focus of the five main courses (chemistry, rhetoric, economics, neuroscience and physics) and the five elective courses (international relations, chamber music, mathematics, sports and team building and theater improvisation). Due to the limited number of visitors at Burg Fürsteneck, the guest afternoon had to be cancelled this year and the parents and invited guests could not see for themselves the spirit of research and creativity of the participants. The topics of the courses offered deep, surprising, new and exciting content for all levels of interest. The chemistry course was dedicated to food chemistry and dealt with the composition of food and how it is processed in the body. Thus, this course took place in the border area of chemistry (molecules of food) and biology (metabolism). In addition, ways to a proper nutrition were presented and discussed. The course in neuroscience was dedicated to the functions of the human brain. From a histological point of view, the 1.4 kg organ is unspectacular and looks like a Jell-O. However, it is the most complex human organ and performs at the highest level. To understand thinking, feeling and perception, the students focused on the molecular level including networks and complex circuits. The physics course also dealt with networks and systems, but with those of electricity. In particular, the students devoted themselves to the transformation of generating electric power, from traditional fossil to renewable energy. The focus was on the components, the physical effects and the technical variants to develop an optimal design for electricity systems based on the use of model systems.