At the end of September (this semester has flown by, hasn’t it?), Team Shrub took part in the Explorathon – a weekend celebrating research in Scotland in the wider context of European Researchers’ Night. We transplanted our shrub knowledge from the Arctic to the Curiosity Forest, where the public got to experience our research from different angles: from above and inside out!
Alongside us in this inviting, cheerful woodland were our friends from GeoSciences showing fossils, molecular biologists encouraging you to take a “cell-fie” photograph of your own epithelial cells, and several other groups from the physical and social sciences showcasing their research in interactive ways that got young (and not-so-young) participants drawing, making blueprints, controlling lasers with their voices, and much more.
Our stall took people through the journey we make collecting and processing data to investigate vegetation change in the Arctic. Participants flew highly successful missions on our drone simulator, then were shown what the pictures our drones take look like. They were then invited to have a much closer look at the shrubs we see as dots on our aerial pictures, by handling wood samples and looking at thin sections through the microscope.
Before leaving, children were asked to find the ring corresponding to their date of birth on a giant print-out of a shrub stem section. Sadly I am too old to fit on this shrub!
Thanks to Lisa and the Explorathon Team for having us!