Dr. Silke Stähler-Schöpf - MPQ
1. Briefly describe your current position, research focus, and your role within MCQST.
I am the head of the students lab „PhotonLab“ which is situated at MPQ and shows, that (quantum) physics is very fascinating. Before the pandemic around 2000 school students visited the PhotonLab every year and performed experiments at the lab.
2. Could you please describe further your role as PhotonLab Manager?
I was building up the lab more than 10 years ago. I chose the experiments, built them up and developed a didactical concept. Nowadays the school classes come, get an introduction talk, a short glimpse in a real scientific lab and afterwards they can make 20 different experiments. The instructions are on iPads. The experiments range from simple (water as a light guide) to difficult (quantum eraser). Another part of my work is to write proposals e.g. for the mediation of quantum physics to the general public „Quanta“ (together with Deutsches Museum) or for the motivation of school students who are losing touch with their classes due to the pandemic (Aufholen nach Corona). I have a staff of four people and we are discussing a lot. We also help school students if they want to participate in a physics competition as GYPT (German Young Physicists Tournament).
3. What was the biggest professional challenge you overcame or faced recently?
The biggest challenge was due to the pandemic to transfer a students lab, that is living from hands on experiments, to the digital world. We started with recording my introduction talk for YouTube (channel of MPQ), continued with posters in a 3d-World and started then with the didactical concept of the flipped classroom, with which we won the price of LernortLabor for digital offers of students labs. We developed interactive books to explain the basics of some (quantum) physics experiments of the Lab to school students.