Showing everyone, from young to old, the world of science and technology in an accessible way. That was the goal of the Dutch national Science Weekend held last month. The Soil Science cluster hosted two fun and informative activities as part of the programme.
One of the central green areas of the Wageningen Campus was the setting for an earthworm charming competition. In small groups, visitors made earthworms emerge by applying vibrations to the soil. Each team tried to find as many earthworms as possible in 15 minutes. While studying the catch, researchers of the Soil Science cluster explained the different types of earthworms, their behaviour, morphology and their importance for soils. The Gelderlander newspaper came along to report on the activity.
Ludi Soli game
While people were charming earthworms between Forum and Orion, other visitors enjoyed playing Ludi Soli: a serious game about soil biota and soil functioning. Players of this game learn to understand the different cause-effect relationships in soil systems and how collective choices can influence them. It illustrates the complex biology, chemistry and physics of soil in an accessible way and is a great educational tool for people of all ages. Two soil scientists developed Ludi Soli during their student time at Wageningen University & Research, Morgane van Dam and Corentine Bisot. If you would like to organise or take part in a Ludi Soli workshop, please contact Ludi Soli.
The Science Weekend took place on 2-3 October 2021. A new edition is to take place next year. Activities like these are important to involve citizens and non-experts in the complex world of soil science, and offer an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of soils for many aspects of life on earth. More to come!