The September school holidays provided a terrific opportunity to offer working parents some respite while getting young minds engaged with the microscopic worlds at their fingertips!
Led by microbiologist Dr Gregory Crocetti and visual artist Briony Barr from the Scale Free Network, our young scientists were given a lively, interactive introduction to the ecology of microscopic life, discovering the structures, behaviours of and relationships between tiny creatures living around, upon and within us.
Using art techniques to fortify observational skills, Briony and Gregory assisted the kids in producing some gorgeous artwork representing their discoveries. After lunch, material drawn from “Small Friends” children’s books Zobi and the Zoox and The Squid, the Vibrio and the Moon fuelled further creative activity through group storytelling, drama and game play.
We are most grateful to the University of Melbourne’s School of Biosciences (with thanks in particular to Dr Ann Bohte) for the loan of stereo microscopes for the kids to use over the two days – they were hugely popular and stimulated the innate curiosity that drives all science! We’ve had great feedback from parents and grandparents, particularly on seeing the pictures that were brought home and having the opportunity to discuss the day’s discoveries with the kids.
A gold-plated school holiday activity. We aim to repeat the program again in 2017 – stay tuned for details.