The world of porous media
The SFB 1313 TryScience Workshop „Environmental Engineering and Simulation Technology“ took place on October 31, 2019. Researchers from the Institute of Applied Mechanics welcomed 18 pupils from different schools (9th to 13th grade) and gave them an insight into the two study programs "Environmental Engineering" and "Simulation Technology". Aim of the workshop was to show the interdisciplinary team work and how the combination of experiments and simulations both contribute to make invisible (environmental) processes visible and thus better understandable.
At the beginning of the workshop the pupils got a general introduction into the world of "porous media". The SFB 1313 film gave them a first impression where to find porous media in everyday life, what a Collaborative Research Center is, and why porous media research is important for the society.
After the general introduction, the pupils went for a guided tour to the CT (computer tomography) Lab to see where the researchers do their experiments. Afterwards, they learned about simulation tools for different porous media applications. Once the group understood that everything is porous and that porous media reveal their porous structure after “zooming in”, it was clear that porous media research can be applied in many areas. Thus, the pupils themselves performed directly “porous media” experiments to better understand them and explored the specific characteristics, such as porosity, capillary forces, permeability, the capacity of transport. These experiments served as basis for understanding the context of simulations. Moreover, during the workshop they had the chance to ask the doctoral researchers questions about their careers.
The TryScience workshops of the University of Stuttgart offer the possibility to get to know various courses of study and research areas. Students of the higher high school grades can experience first-hand how exciting STEM studies can be. Numerous institutes open their doors so that students get an idea what they could eventually study after their degrees.