Scientific outreach to children

Presenting your research in primary school is not just fun to do, you can also learn a lot from it. Children are a grateful audience: refreshingly eager and full of surprising questions. In this course you will experience that you really will have to get to the core of your research in order to explain it to children and that you don’t have to speak in one-syllable words for them to understand.

Drieluik OIKPhD students, post-docs and other researchers from Radboud University and Radboudumc can participate in this project, which focuses on a visit to two primary school classes. Researchers who participate in this project for the first time follow the short course 'Scientific outreach to children'. In this course, you will be prepared for your visit.

Set-up course 'Scientific outreach to children'

If you can explain your research to children, you can explain it to anyone.

Evaluatiebijeenkomst OIK 2019

During this course, you will learn to present your research to children in the upper years of primary education (ages 9-12) in an interactive way. To really get the children into your research, you will also design one or more activities to make (your) research insightful to them and have them do a little research themselves. You will actually present your research in two primary school classes. The schools for teaching will be arranged by the course organization.

In the first meeting, we discuss what is involved in presenting to an audience of children. In the second meeting, we discuss the activities that participants have designed and together take them to the next level. The third meeting is a feedback meeting in small groups. Here, you show part of your lesson to fellow students and the teacher. After the feedback meeting, you finalize the lesson and teach it twice in a classroom that is arranged by the course organization.

How much time does it take?

The course takes 42 hours. In principle, the course, including a visit to the school and preparation, fits within these hours. Of course, it is always possible to put more hours into the design of the lesson. This course is included in the PhD education of Radboud University. You can register via gROW. Registration is open to all researchers (see 'Participate?').

Practical information

The course starts every February, with three meetings in February and March. The visits in the classroom take place between March and July.

What does it give you?

  • You learn to present your research to a lay audience
  • You contribute to the science literacy of the new generation
  • You share your enthusiasm and curiosity for research with children
  • You gain experience with science education and communication
  • You get re-energized by the curiosity and enthusiasm of children


In gROW you can indicate that you want to be informed when the next round will start.

'Thinking about research from an early age'

A class visit by a scientist sticks much better. The students immediately notice the passion of the researcher. Koen Pelsma talks at Jenaplanschool De Lindekring in Sint Agatha about his research into greenhouse gases from canals. He uses baker's yeast to show how temperature influences the production of gasses (Dutch only).