The 27th of September, 120 school pupils (about 11-12 years old) visited SLU´s campus in Uppsala to participate in SciFest activities.
One activity was to find habitats for species (butterflies, birds and plants) in two landscapes. In one landscape there are still cattle in the pasture lands – in the other one the farmer has switched to intensive crop production and the grasslands have become dominated by bushes and trees (succession). When the children have placed the species cards in the landscape it is obvious that grazing is important for biodiversity – but also that many grassland species can survive in the road verges. This was a starting point for the discussion about why grasslands are important for biodiversity and how land-use change can affect habitats.
After that, Matt Hiron, our colleague from the SUPER-G project, had also brought some preserved farmland bird´s from the Ecology Department´s collection to show the children. The activity was run as two workshops each with around 15 children and a teacher (but all the children had the chance to make a shorter visit at all the activities during one hour).
SciFest is a science festival organized by Uppsala university and SLU. This year the big event with thousands of visitors was cancelled due to covid-19. Instead SciFest organized smaller events to test new concepts – like inviting the children to campus.