Outreach | What vacuum does to marshmallows

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Outreach

What vacuum does to marshmallows

Every year in France, science is "à la fête" for two consecutive weekends in October. Free events and demonstrations—tailored particularly to school-age children—offer a fun and friendly way to discover projects like ITER.

Fridays were reserved for school children, like this group that visited the ITER stand in Manosque. It may take them some time to grow into their ITER T-shirts ... (Click to view larger version...)
Fridays were reserved for school children, like this group that visited the ITER stand in Manosque. It may take them some time to grow into their ITER T-shirts ...
Ask any one of the ITER guides and they will tell you: the marshmallows are the biggest draw. Demonstrating the concept of vacuum by showing children what happens to a marshmallow when air is pumped out of a sealed chamber or, on the contrary, pumped back in never fails to delight. (Especially when the results of the experiment are passed around for tasting.)

For the 2019 edition of France's Festival of Science (Fête de la Science), ITER brought its displays to four localities: Manosque, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, and Villeneuve-Loubet (near Nice).

Science made easy! One of the most popular items of the ITER outreach arsenal is the marshmallow chamber ... (Click to view larger version...)
Science made easy! One of the most popular items of the ITER outreach arsenal is the marshmallow chamber ...
Dozens of bags of marshmallows, boxes of T-shirts and brochures, a microwave to demonstrate the creation of plasma, devices to demonstrate magnetism and vacuum, and 18 volunteers were dispatched for three-day events on the first two weekends of October. ITER Communication's Julie Marcillat and Ruxandra Pilsiu coordinated all events.

With over 14,000 people attending, including 4,000 school children, and long lines at the ITER stands, the outreach effort can be considered a success.


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