Children as researchers

Children as researchers

Water is the number one source of life. Without water nothing and nobody could exist. Playful access to this most important element was provided by the vacation activity "Environmental detectives without borders" with experiential educator Barbara Niemann. Seven boys and girls became shipbuilders and water sommeliers or explored the world of the small creatures that cavort in the water. The adventure educator had come up with a great program for the seven to ten year olds.

To kick things off, the children virtually slipped into the role of water sommeliers: Three glasses stood in front of each of them. "Tell me which water tastes best to you", Niemann asked the young testers for their assessment.

"Number two was awful", seven-year-old Luca found clear words. As it turned out, this was the water from the plastic bottle in the supermarket. The children liked the variants from the glass bottle and from the spring of the "Haus am Dornig" much better.

Then Niemann handed out beakers to the children, who enthusiastically took a little water from the fountain in front of the restaurant. The young researchers were fascinated by many small creatures, from water beetles to mosquito larvae.

Egg steamer ahoy!

Styrofoam, tea lights and raw chicken eggs from an organic farmer: What are these utensils all about??, the children asked themselves during the next task. "We are now building an egg steamer", explained Niemann. A tea light and a blown-out egg filled with a little water were placed on the "ship" appropriate.

The steam created after lighting the tea light escapes from the egg, giving rise to the "steamship" Propulsion is the theory. The children also realized that, as is so often the case, practical implementation is not as simple as it looks at first glance. The fact that some of the steamers on the water tank didn’t really get off the ground didn’t detract from the fun. When one of the companions finally burst into flames as a result of a not-so-successful construction, a boy laughingly commented on this with a call for the fire department. And he was amused to slip into their roles – the water was not far away.

Barbara Niemann also included interesting facts from time to time during the vacation event. The children learned that our bodies are made up of about 70 percent water and that only a very small percentage of the water on earth is suitable for drinking, which is why we should be careful with our precious water.

"I find water exciting, I am a water rat myself", said ten-year-old Elias, and during a break he told us that, like his buddy Niklas, he is also a member of the water rescue team.

Lots of happy faces

A game in which teams had to transport as much water as possible in five minutes – diligence was more important here than speed – and the task of collecting five objects from nature that float on water also provided amusement at this successful vacation event.

When the children reviewed the impressions at a joint meal, they looked at all the happy faces.

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