«We saw how geologists work»

12 children chose to spend «Future Day» 2015 with Nagra. The morning involved a tour of departments at the company headquarters, followed by a visit to the seismic measurements in progress.

The idea behind the «Future Day» is to motivate schoolchildren between the ages of 11 and 13 to take the first courageous steps into unfamiliar career fields, and invites them to spend a day working with a familiar adult such as a parent or to take part in a special project. This is how the 15th national «Future Day» was described in a media release on the project webpage. The aim is to make schoolchildren aware as early as possible of the career choices open to them based on their interests and talents rather than on stereotypical gender role conceptions.

Yesterday, 12 boys and girls took the opportunity to gain an insight into the work being done by Nagra. The first part of the day involved a tour through the different departments at the Nagra headquarters. «We saw how geologists work», said one of the young visitors. The first visit was to Petra Vogt who explained to the children how Nagra’s library is organised, how many publications she gathers every year and how these are categorised. More familiar to the youngsters from their everyday life was the second stop: social media. Patrick Burgert showed them the two blogs www.erdwissen.ch and www.seismik-news.ch run by Nagra. Geologist Herfried Madritsch then introduced them to the topic of safety by explaining how to ensure the long-term safety of a deep geological repository.

After a morning snack, each child received a lunch-box and the group then set out to Kleindöttingen to learn about the seismic measurements. «Nagra is looking to see if some places are suitable for building repositories for radioactive waste», summarised one of the guests at the end of the visit. «I was in truck at the top of the Bözberg that measures the seismic signals and later I got to eat chocolate», explained one boy as the highlight of his day. Another found the whole experience exciting, but added that the Grimsel laboratory was even more exciting.

The day was eventful and interesting, with a lot of information and lots of smiles and laughter – and Nagra looks forward to being involved again next year.