Our TEDxTUMSalon in 2018 took place at the Deutsches Museum on 24 July. It focused on topics in nano- and biotechnology and gave our audience the chance get behind the scenes access to the stunning nanotechnology exhibit.
ABOUT THE THEME: TINY SUPERPOWERS
This TEDxTUMSalon was all about tiny technologies with tremendous impact! There is an almost incomprehensible abundance of particles in the world that we can’t see, which have the potential to change everything. It’s time to magnify the magnificently miniature and explore its implications for our present and future.
Only 50% of the value of a TEDx event comes from the talks. This event was tightly coupled to the exhibit and context of the Deutsches Museum Center for New Technologies, which gave us the opportunity to go all out in terms of event experience. Playing with the ideas of “tiny” vs “large,” we aimed to teach our attendees about the concepts of nanotech and biotech while also taking the opportunity to have fun and make new connections. Below is a selection of this event’s experience.
The Deutsches Museum Center for New Technologies (ZNT) currently features a permanent exhibit on nano- and biotechnology. What a wonderful setting for “Tiny Superpowers”! Museum hosts volunteered to give our attendees a guided tour in between talks. Our guests learned about past, current and future technologies, clarified misconceptions around nano- and biotech, and got a feel for how the research in these fields impacts our everyday lives.
From tiny to large — these oversized Jenga blocks really have it in them! Attendees could challenge each other to a match, but beware: each block had a task or activity written on it. Whether they had to hug a stranger or pretend that the floor was lava, the players needed to complete the task before the block could be placed on the top of the Jenga tower. We witnessed everything from intense competitions to new friends being made… and had a blast!
We prepared a DNA folding activity for our attendees to complete during the breaks. They received printed instruction sheets of how to fold a double helix: all one needs to do is pair the correct DNA bases together. Sounds simple, right? As it turns out, some of the TEDxTUM crowd are quite adept at origami, while others have – well, other strengths. Either way, they learned something about DNA and its role as the building block of life along the way.
Open Research Lab
How convenient was it that the Deutsches Museum’s Open Research Laboratory was in the same room as TEDxTUMSalon? This lab brings scientific work into the heart of the museum, with nano researchers working on scanning tunneling microscopes. Our attendees were able to see how nanostructures (they are invisible to the naked eye!) appeared on the images. The scientists answered questions, giving them a hands-on approach to their research.
TED Talk shown at the event
Our very own curation team member Julian Dlugosch presented his favorite TED talk, “How to find a wonderful idea” by OK Go. As an engineer accustomed to planning, precise calculations, and logic on one hand and a musician on the other, Julian appreciates how this talk highlights the advantages of both. The band breaks down their approach to brainstorming and planning their precise, eccentric music videos in unusual environments like zero gravity or ultra slow motion.