Forskningsdagene at HVL Haugesund
Updated: Oct 3
Welcome to a festival where researchers from all over the country present their research to the general public! That is how the Forskningsdagene website welcomes everyone in Norwegian.
As mentioned in the previous post, Research Days in Norway have just started. Promoted by the Research Council of Norway, and organized by the institutions that want to be part of it, everyone with some kind of interest for science is invited to participate in the different activities that are taking place from the 21st September to the 2nd October 2022 all around Norway. There will be lectures, experiments, conversations, exhibitions and debates.
The program here at HVL Campus Haugesund, was the following:
My group and I were in charge of the child activity "Tareskogens mysterier", or the "Mysteries of the Kelp Forest". We welcomed two school classes today to learn about Norwegian algal species, the importance of Kelp forest for the marine ecosystem, and the problems that these underwater forests are facing.
To do so, we prepared a room with chairs disposed in a circle, in the center of which my colleagues picked and placed some algae from our coast:
We also had a copy of the book "Olle Kråkebolle og tareskogens mysterier" on each chair, so the kids could read it together and follow up. We started by doing that, reading the book, looking at the drawings, explaining how the process of making the book was, and answering the first questions. After that is when things get messy; time to look, grab, and squeeze the algae! We first showed the kelp specimen that the book features: Saccharina latissima, or sugar kelp. We identify the different parts of the algae (blade, stipe and holdfast), and compare it to terrestrial plants (leaves, stipe and roots). Since we had specimens for all 3 kinds of algae, red, green and brown, we tried to find out which ones belonged to each category. Easy done! Then we had some identification guides to try to find out the different species, and we discussed what where the white marks on some algae blades, what were the "balls" on some species for... While most of the kids like to touch and get wet, some others see algae from the distance with a little disgust.
Can't blame them, algae are quite gooey!
Anyway, all of them seamed to enjoy the activity, and were really interested and curious about the algae and life under the sea. Then, we went visit the aquariums we had prepared! In the aquariums they could see some of the same algae we had in class, there was small fish and shrimps, sea anemones, clamps... We had some harvesting equipment so they could learn how we prepared the aquariums and we even visited one of the labs, after they asked for it. In the lab we showed them what we normally wear, some of the equipment, and they got really surprised to find a shower in there as well! Well, safety first, you know ;)
We had a really nice day sharing our work with the little ones. This is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding and fun activities from the project.
Have a good weekend!