Researchers’ Night in the UTM Park

On the evening of September 27th, the Park of the Technical University of Moldova in the Râșcani sector played several roles: exhibition space, experimental laboratory, astronomical observatory, Tesla car track,  fashion show podium, space for nutrition workshops, printing on textiles, leather goods, but also robotics. These experiences were part of the extensive agenda of the 6th edition of the European Researchers’ Night at UTM, which took place in 300 European cities simultaneously.

Thus, the most ingenious, creative and talented students from the nine faculties of UTM had the opportunity to present their latest research and innovation developments, showing the general public what it means to be a researcher and how interesting the work of a researcher can be, giving visitors the opportunity to discover the world of science and the people behind the experiments.

Along the main alley of the park were displayed exhibitions made by students and teachers, including the nanosatellite “TUMnanoSAT”, developed within the National Center for Space Technologies of UTM (director: Ion Bostan academy), an achievement the university is very proud of.

“Through this, we develop the first Moldovan satellite for launch. This year, the CNTS team won a project that ensures the launch of the satellite “TUMnanoSAT” from the International Space Station. We hope that by 2020 it will be launched. It is the first project of this kind in Moldova” said CNTS collaborator, Valentin Ilco.

Another attraction of the evening was the prosthetic arm that can read muscle impulses. FCIM student Vladislav Covalschi, the author of the invention, was driven by the idea of making the lives of people without arms easier. Directed by means of a special bracelet that wears on the side of the remaining limb, the prosthesis can be put into operation at each contraction of the muscles.

In addition, the exhibited inventions targeted all the UTM study fields: energetics, telecommunications, mechanical engineering, food technology, construction, architecture, interior design, industrial and clothing, etc.

The park was then transformed into a podium on which the models with the FTP (Faculty of Textiles and Polygraphy) branded clothing paraded, exhibiting 4 interactive master classes. These were carried out in a pre-arranged consecutive order, to give the visitors the opportunity to participate in each one of them. In the textile printing workshop, the audience printed the UTM logo on white shirts; in the leather goods they learned to create various bracelets. Visitors who care about what food they consume had the opportunity to discover the miraculous field of nutrition, what a balanced diet consists of, and thus promote the healthy way of life. And in the robotics workshop they ventured into … making robots.

At the same time, the park’s driveways were invaded by miniature Tesla cars, piloted at a distance.

The UTM Observatory and Planetarium opened their doors, where, with the help of the telescope and the ultramodern screen, the eager ones could enjoy, in real time, the fascinating celestial show of planets and constellations.

Also, the little explorers had the opportunity to get involved in various experiments. Particularly captivating have been those with non-Newtonian liquids. For example, a mixture of cornstarch and water can be transformed into a liquid substance (at a slow touch) or a solid substance (at a forceful touch). The explanation is simple: the viscosity of this mixture depends on the force applied to it or the speed with which it is mixed. Beyond the laws of physics and chemistry, the joy and wonder in the eyes of the children were the most priceless elements of the event.

The European Researchers’ Night is held every year, since 2005, on the last Friday of September, at the initiative of the EU, in hundreds of European cities, with the aim of popularizing science and fun learning. In Moldova, the event was supported for the first time by the scientific community in 2013, reaching its 6th edition this year.