In the early morning, the 65 school kids and their teachers were transported with a bus to the Aveiro saltmarsh, where four scientists guided the kids into the mudflat. Equipped with rubber boots, shovels and buckets, the kids enjoyed a sunny day and collected samples from the muddy and smelly sediment. So, did they find some exciting treasures? Back in the school the mud was analysed with an optical microscope, revealing the shiny and motile inhabitants – the tiny diatoms. Inspired by this experience, the kids then formed their own diatoms with playdough – which they proudly demonstrated to their parents.
The organizers Johannes W. Goessling and Silja Frankenbach were impressed by their curiosity and creativity. “We hope they will remember our Safari to the saltmarsh for a while. This is their home, their ecosystem. Once they grow up, it will be their task to take care of all this.” The activity draws attention for the urgent need to mitigate global climate change. Earth is changing at a breath-taking pace, and it will be the younger generations who must cope with it.