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The kids were researchers for a day

24 children from Lund International School (LIS) visited the department last Monday. The kids investigated the secrets of pollination as well as why mosquitoes are attracted to stinky socks. And most things in between.
The researcher Anne Duplouy talks in front of a group of young kids.
The researcher Anne Duplouy started the day at the Department of Biology with a short introduction. Things that are good to know when you are seven or eight years old and will be a researcher for a day. Photo: Inger Ekström

– This was so fun! It was great that so many people from the department were able to take of their time to participate. I really hope we can do this again next year, says Anne Duplouy researcher in systematic biology and the one who organised the day.

During three hours the kids, seven to eight years old, went from activity to activity. All in all seven stations. In the basement of the Ecology building they were introduced to one of the biggest insect collections in the world, and they had a close look at one sample through a microscope. Another activity was a small laboratory that had been put up just for the day. Dressed in white lab coats, goggles and gloves the kids became real researchers for a while.

Young kid watching liquids in pipettes and vortexes.
It is fascinating to watch liquids change colour. Adam Bani Hani was one of the kids who thought it was captivating. Photo: Inger Ekström

At another station they investigated how the larvae of Drosophila fruit flies react to light sources. At yet another station the children got to know the secrets of pollination of a strawberry flower. And they ate the result.

They also learned about the differences between good and bad bacteria and why it is important to wash your hands.

Young girl looking through a microscope.
Science is exciting. Lilia Taylor put a lot of questions. Photo: Inger Ekström

Mosquitoes, their life cycle and their attraction for stinky socks was also on the programme. At one station the kids used a heat camera to discover the difference in temperature between themselves and other objects.

Doctoral student Himma Bakam with two cups.
Himma Bakam, doctoral student, with two cups. One with hot water, one with cold. With a heat camera the children could tested the difference in temperature. Photo: Inger Ekström

– They were so curious and asked a lot of questions. Some of the kids have parents that work at Lund University and quite a few of them already knew what a researcher is. They describe researchers as people that ”read a lot, ask questions, test different ideas and write reports”, says Anne Duplouy.
Jan Olsson

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