Photo: Lize Kraan/UU

This year's edition of Meet the Professor will take place online

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On Wednesday, March 24, around a hundred UU professors will pay a virtual visit to a local primary school. Unfortunately, a meeting face to face has been ruled out and the professors – some of them in a gown – will talk to pupils from the seventh and eighth grades through video chat. 

Read in Dutch

Since 2016, one of the activities in celebration of the University's anniversary is Meet the Professor, a day in which UU professors, wearing their traditional gowns, meet at the Academiegebouw near the Dom tower, get on their bikes and visit some of the city's primary schools. There, they answer pupils' questions about the University, science, and the research they're working on. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this activity did not take place last year. A pity, as more than 160 professors had registered for it. This year, the event goes digital and around a hundred professors will participate.

The schools have received a golden envelope ahead of the event, containing suggestions of activities they can do in class, some of them about the university and the act of conducting research. But those envelopes also contain a hint about which professor is going to talk to them and what they dream of achieving in science. This way, the pupils can come up with questions ahead of the event. The fields of expertise vary widely: from climate change to particle physics, but also diversity, ethics and plant diseases.

UU Rector Henk Kummeling recorded a video message to the pupils ahead of the big day, saying that the professors would have liked to pay the schools a visit in person, but that is unfortunately not possible. "We are aware that video chats are not the best. We've noticed that with our own teachers and students. I have utmost respect for you and what you have accomplished in this period. Let's make something beautiful out of this".

You can watch the video below (in Dutch):

 

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