The event, held for the 6th year in a row, gathered 2,194 people last Saturday 20th May 2017 at the ALBA Synchrotron to celebrate the importance of science.

The ALBA Open Day, organized every year by the ALBA Synchrotron, was again a full success. From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. more than 2,000 people came to visit ALBA's facilities to have a better knowledge of its characteristic and functions.

The event followed an itinerary composed by different areas of exhibition and demonstration. Visitors were able to see the devices where the electrons pass through or those used for manipulating the synchrotron light, as well as to observe the interior of the accelerator's tunnel which was opened on that occasion. Fun demonstrations were organized to allow visitors to know more about concepts like vacuum or pressure, microscopy or spectroscopy. New this year were present an accelerator mock-up, done with Lego bricks, and a demonstration about infrared where a thermographic camera was used (the same used for analysing some components of the facility). Once more, kids could enjoy their own area where they could follow a treasure hunt around the facility and a drawing contest for finding a new logotype for LOREA, one of the beamlines that ALBA is currently building. At the end of the itinerary, the music band "The Cat-Eyes", composed by members of the ALBA staff, explained how a synchrotron works with their music. Besides, three conferences were given about particle accelerators (Caterina Biscari, director of ALBA), applications of synchrotron light in medicine (Manel Sabés, professor at the UAB and user and collaborator of ALBA) and an introduction to X-ray crystallography (Albert Castellví, PhD student at ALBA).

With the involvement of the staff

The ALBA Open Day was held thanks to the contribution of half of the ALBA staff. More than 100 volunteers helped in the coordination of the event and also gave explanations and informed the visitors. A group of students who are doing internships in the facility also took part in the event.

It is also worth mentioning the support from Civil Protection, who generously offered their experience during the whole day.

"The ALBA Open Day is an event full of energy, enthusiasm and professionalism. The general public would not be able to know about our research without the generosity and dedication of the staff, making possible to spread this message and transmitting the importance of science in our society", according to Caterina Biscari, director of the ALBA Synchrotron.

On-line followers

The visitors were very active at Twitter and Instagram, uploading images and comments followed by the hashtag #ALBAOpenDay, that were visible in the different monitors placed in the building.

An audio guide in Spanish and Catalan was also very popular among visitors, offering complementary information to the visit.

The ALBA Synchrotron has developed an outreach program, which includes the organization of the ALBA Open Day as well as guided tours inside the facility. Both activities welcome more than 6,500 visitors every year.

The ALBA Open Day was organized with the support of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), La Caixa Foundation, the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Catalan Government.

IM_ALBAOpenDay17_GeneralView  IM_ALBAOpenDay17_Kids Area

Left, general view of the experimental hall during the event. Right, the Kids Area where drawing activities and hands-on experiments took place.

IM_ALBAOpenDay17_LegoAcc  IM_ALBAOpenDay17_ThermoDemo

Left, the accelerator mock-up done with Lego bricks, one of the most popular activities of the event. Right, some visitors take a thermographic picture of themselves.

Filed under: ,