Scouts served with marshmallows frozen with liquid nitrogen at SDU Sønderborg

SDU Sønderborg, along with the rest of the town, welcomed scouts and guides from all over the world for Jamboree Denmark 2017. SDU students put on a thrilling science show that demonstrated how closely the worlds of scouts and engineers are connected.

Where there are scouts, there are marshmallows. But when over 30,000 scouts pitched their tents on Kær Halvø during the summer, they were served marshmallows like they had never experienced them before. SDU Sønderborg at Alsion was ready with a science show where one of the specialities on offer was marshmallows frozen with nitrogen. Instead of roasting marshmallows over a crackling campfire, the scouts' favourite sweet was dipped into nearly -200 degrees ice-cold liquid nitrogen. There was no mistaking the effect. Instead of a sticky, melting goo, the ice cold marshmallows became brittle and shattered when the scouts crunched them between their teeth. However, it must be emphasised that the taste was no worse for that. Not at all.

- On the engineering study programmes, we have knowledge that we want to pass on, and we tried to do that by inspiring and enthusing the scouts through play, like we did in our Science Show, says the University's project manager, Lise Kanstrup.

Science is play

The programme offered the general public a variety of events, such as the large-scale Science Show, and workshops with solar panel technology and LED light, which went into more technical detail and were aimed at the Jamboree participants.

Emil Busch, who studies Innovation & Business and has himself been a scout, explains that the scouts were very receptive to the programme that SDU Sønderborg had put together.

 - The aim was to generate interest in electronics. In the LED light workshop,   all the scouts were super concentrated and incredibly skilled.

He goes on to say that many of the scouts had a major talent for some of the subjects the engineering students at SDU Sønderborg work with.

 -  You could call it an appetiser. They got to see how with simple     programming you can make quite exciting things. They created beautiful   patterns and sensational colours.

Getting a feel for electronics

Ole Dalgaard, who is a leader in the Øster Snede scout group, backs up Emil Busch's statement. He looked on while his scout group were deeply concentrated on programming the colourful fairy lights.

 - They have a feel for electronics. They're very interested in computers, so it's   natural for them to absorb more knowledge about what lies behind the    screen. It's also something we're planning to work with after the Jamboree.

Each group was tasked with putting together a mood light and programming the micro-controller so that the light could be controlled from a smartphone. The scouts could then create an individual light sequence for each group. The best mood light design and light sequence for each round was rewarded by a jury from SDU.

In addition to the daily science shows, there were guided tours of the facilities used on the engineering study programmes each morning at 9am during which the students showcased projects that included robots, crawling objects and self-driving cars.