APH researchers at the ‘Weekend van de Wetenschap’: Health lab, scientific drawings, #TwinningIsWinning and virtual heights

APH researchers at the ‘Weekend van de Wetenschap’: Health lab, scientific drawings, #TwinningIsWinning and virtual heights

Last weekend, 7th October, children and their families got the opportunity to look behind the scientific scenes at the Vrije Universiteit and the VU University Medical Center. Multiple APH researchers showed their scientific expertise to children and their family by experiments, tests and workshops.

Check your ears, section Ear & Hearing

How well can you understand speech in a noisy situation? APH researchers Mariska Stam, Barbara Ohlenforst, Janine Meijerink and Krista Jansen from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, section Ear & Hearing offered the visitors of the science weekend a hearing test. With this digit-triplet speech-in-noise screening test it is possible to determine people’s ability to understand speech in background noise in just 3 minutes. Afterwards, each child received a Hearing certificate and the provided yellow ear plugs were also popular collectables! 

Want to test your hearing ability at home?
Try the online test at www.hoortest.nl

Halloween Genes

Researchers Carla van El, Ivy van Dijke, Lidwij Henneman and Karuna van der Meij, from the department of Clinical Genetics-section Community Genetics introduced their field of genetic science by telling a fairy-tale about spiders and bats that explained how heredity works. The children could pick a marble that represented either a dominant (bat: good sights) or a recessive gene (spider: handy) By combining the two marbles or ‘genes’ the children become a bat or a spider and could wear the bat or spider tiara (see picture-->).

Runaway Heartbeat

The research group Child Health & Care was present with the activity ‘’Hartslag op Hol’’ (Runaway Heartbeat). In several experiments children were able to investigate the effects of physical activity on their body and brain. They explored different ways to raise their heartbeats while wearing a heart rate monitor and were given the opportunity to test their speed and muscle strength. Furthermore, children could experience the effect of a dancing activity break on their concentration. At the end each child received a certificate with their test scores.

Scientific eye drawing, Wilma IJzerman-Lap

Wilma IJzerman (APH bureau and community genetics department) her profession is scientific illustrator. She encouraged the children to explore the bloodvessels, lenses and structures of the inside of the eye and make a detailed drawing. After a short presentations about the eye itself, the children could release their inner Picasso. Over 100 children drew beautiful scientific human, ape, lion, or their own monster eyes!

Blinded daily tasks, Ophthalmology

The department of Ophthalmology introduced eye research to children by demonstrating an eye pressure test, retinal photo, retinal section and an eye movement test. Children could experience how it is to be blind or visually impaired by doing daily tasks, for example preparing a sandwich or passing a ball, with special glasses that mimic the effects of eye diseases.  


How fit are you?! In the Health lab, researchers of the Biological Psychology department measured flexibility, strength, jumping power, balance and your grip strength in several tests. You could also see your own heartbeat on a ECG monitor.

The Biological Psychology department research is focussed on the role of heredity of mental and physical health by conducting genetic studies. One of the resources for the genetics research is the Netherlands Twin Register with almost 100.000 registered twins.. The followers of the NTR Facebook page,  were asked to send in their most creative photo for the exposition themed: #TwinningIsWinning. The visitors of the Science Weekend could vote for their favourite photo and the winner is the Gerritsen family!

Virtual fear of heights

Tara Donker (Clinical Psychology department) let people walk over a bridge in Switzerland, sit high in a crane or stand on the balcony of a high building, virtually, by using a Virtual Reality Glasses. This VR technique encompasses scalable and affordable self-help treatment using a smartphone and virtual reality to help people get rid of their vertigo.