“Eww! Figs have dead wasps inside of them?!”
“Mushrooms must have pollinators… Oh wait! They aren’t flowers.”
“I didn’t know humans sometimes have to act like bees and pollinate.”
These are just a few of the exclamations from middle school students during Carnegie Science Center’s SciTech Days. Middle school students from the Greater Pittsburgh area visited the Science Center in early November to attend workshops, interact with experts in science and technology, and enjoy the center’s exhibits. The festival featured displays from local companies and universities, including PPG, University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy, and University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Biological Sciences. I had the opportunity to help with a hands-on exhibit on pollination ecology, which was organized and run by the Ashman Lab. Rainee Kaczorowski, a postdoctoral associate in the lab, designed an interactive display where we asked students to think about what types of foods require insect pollinators. We had a variety of fruits and vegetables on the table, including mushrooms, strawberries, and figs. Students were often surprised by the fact that many of the fruits and vegetables that they love to eat require pollinators. They also learned what types of living and non-living vectors are pollinators- water, wind, birds, insects, non-human primates, humans, and many more!
For more information on SciTech Days, please visit http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/stemcenter/scitech-days/.
About this blog:
I created this blog as part of the Phipps Botany in Action Program, 2015 - 2017