MEET CINCH Spring school 2020

The MEET CINCH Spring School "Radiochemistry for Society: High School Meets University" took place in Larnaca (Cyprus) from 2-6 March 2020. This experimental format brought together pupils shortly before graduation from high school with university students from all areas of radiochemistry. About 35 participants from 9 countries spent the week together with international speakers from the fields of radioecology, radiopharmacy, fuel fabrication, recycling, final disposal, materials testing and tracer applications. In addition to lectures, several hands-on trainings at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia provided an opportunity to gain insights into radiochemical work and to discover the fascination of this field. This includes the determination of uranium in seawater and the measurement of the potassium concentration of a solution: once by ion exchange and the following day by gamma measurement. Another premiere was the EXIT game on dosimetry, which was recently translated into English language. It took the players to the control room of the damaged reactor block IV in Chernobyl. Due to the everyone’s enthusiasm, the game had to be repeated twice. Far too quickly, it was Friday and the school was over.

Especially for the pupils, the experience of exchanging ideas with international students, scientists, experts from industry, but also other pupils, actively communicating and lecturing in English themselves, as well as getting first-hand information about possible studies, was a fascinating experience. The field of radiochemistry, which until now has been little known amongst the pupils, has certainly gained quite a few new fans.  But also the international flair of science itself was an experience for the younger participants that they will not forget. During evening conversations at the bar and on the beach it became clear how many common interests e.g. Russian, Scandinavian, German and Slovenian people have. Many thanks to the EU, which made it possible for us to carry out this novel and very successful kind of summer school, which was an experimental field for all of us: MEET-CINCH H2020, Project number: 754972