Blue-connect Project has been completed: Education of young researchers and environmental heroes
We have successfully completed the Blue-connect project, in which the European Researchers’ Night was also included. In addition to the part that was open to the public, the Institute took part in a series of workshops and lectures for children of kindergarten and school age over the course of two years.
What does it look like in figures?
Our staff carried out 48 activities aimed at popularizing marine science among kindergarten and school-age children. In total, 1275 children and their educators, teachers and professors were involved, and all together it took more than 110 hours. We are extremely satisfied and happy because in this way we have brought our work and our research closer to the youngest.
This year, the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries also took part in the European Researchers’ Night, but in addition to the traditional part open to the public, the Researchers’ Night was also held in the kindergarten. The children had the opportunity to be little explorers of the sea for a day as they were introduced to the wonderful world of science in workshops. The workshops took place on September 22 and 25, 2023 as part of the Blue-connect project JA, ISTRAŽUJEM! The workshop concept was designed and conducted by our colleagues Dr. Daria Ezgeta Balić, and Jasna Šiljić. A total of 4 workshops were held in different groups within the DV Ružmarin, Cvit Mediterana.
In the first part of the workshop, the children were familiarized with fascinating facts about the sea. Through an entertaining presentation, they repeated their knowledge about the sea and had the opportunity to learn something new. The aim of the interactive educational workshop was to introduce preschool children to the mysterious world beneath the surface of the sea. The concept of the workshop consisted of a short presentation adapted for pre-school children and a practical part in which the children had to find out who feeds whom in the sea. After gaining basic knowledge about the food web and trophic levels in the sea, the children had the opportunity to learn about all the types of shells they can find while walking by the sea. They explored the shells live, distinguished the species and shapes and learned interesting facts about each species. Under the microscope, they were able to explore the mysterious world of plankton and learned about the importance and role of the invisible world in the sea. The best approach to children is to involve them and give them specific tasks to keep them engaged and thinking. Through this type of interaction, the children acquired knowledge about the processes in the sea in a very simple and fun way and really took on the role of little scientists exploring the marine world.
The second part of the workshop was dedicated to the problem of marine litter, where the problem was explained to the children in an appropriate way and solutions were offered. Through an interactive presentation and a demonstration experiment, the children learned in a playful way about the consequences of waste and how small everyday things can be useful and important for solving problems. The aim of this experiment was to make the children think and to give them a visual impression of the consequences of human impact on the environment. It was important to show them the negative effects that humans cause through customized content to keep them motivated to preserve the environment. The focus of the presentation and experiment was to teach the children the right steps to take with the environment so that they develop beneficial habits and responsible behavior towards nature. Let us hope that the children will really be motivated to do something useful and thus pass on new knowledge to their families.
And finally, we would like to thank all the schools and kindergartens that hosted us! We would like to thank all our project partners and hope that we can continue our cooperation within the Blueconnect v.2. project!