by Anastasia Bragina
Changes in the environment during the Anthropocene era – the age when humans became one of the most important factors influencing the Earth – have emerged as a very important theme in the Ars Electronica Center’s current exhibitions. To counteract the losses and severe reduction of biodiversity that have resulted from human influences, the museum has therefore set as its goal a critical examination of the technological and social problems of our time. Interactive exhibits and playful workshops allow visitors and school groups to view and perceive these aspects from artistic perspectives, and also to encourage reflection.
Despite all the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has caused our society, the current situation also made us more inventive and imaginative in continuing to take the engagement with the future out into the world. Thanks to Home Delivery, a virtual mediation format that allows for a wide range of activities, the educational program thus became accessible to all school classes across Austria and internationally. This applies not only to guided tours that the Ars Electronica Center has been offering online for more than a year, but also to workshops with hands-on approaches that were previously accessible only to those class groups for whom an on-site visit was possible.
Beginning with International Biodiversity Day on SAT May 22, the Ars Electronica Center is therefore now offering the popular workshop “Im Moos viel los” (lit. “A lot going on in the moss!”) in a new, interactive, Home Delivery format. It’s a great opportunity for elementary school kids to get a taste of what it’s like to be a researcher – they get to try out scientific procedures such as sampling and learn creatively and playfully why writing protocols is so important for science.
Equipped with microscopes and laboratory materials, which each class receives in the form of a loan box, the aspiring researchers go on an exciting microbe hunt in their local environment. In the process, they are guided and supported by experienced infotrainers and made aware of the topics of biodiversity and nature conservation. The creative drawings of the famous moss creatures found and invented during the practical part of the workshop will then be presented to the general public in a digital gallery.
From MO 24.5. the workshop “Im Moos viel los” can be booked for school classes as part of Home Delivery via the contact form.
The Home Delivery Workshop „Im Moos viel los“ is part of the Microbiome 4 Future! project, which is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and carried out in cooperation with the Graz University of Technology. Together with children, teachers, researchers and artists from Styria and Upper Austria, we set an example for a conscious and sustainable future in which every living being, no matter how small, is valued and protected!