The GenB “Hands-on” lab event took place in Thessaloniki, Greece on November 28th, 2023, and was organised by Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL. The 1 st Junior High School of Kalamaria hosted the “Hands-on lab”
event for 12-year-old students.
The objective was to educate children about the bioeconomy using simple experiments with everyday materials.
During this event, the group consisted of 12 seventh-grade students, along with their teacher and two additional teachers who found the event interesting and wanted to attend and contribute to the process.
At the beginning, a discussion was held with the students about the bioeconomy and its challenges.
Afterwards, they were asked to describe in their own words their knowledge about the topic and the Q-PLAN team supplemented the conversation with simple examples and terms concerning bioeconomy and circular economy.
For the practical part of the event, the students were divided in groups of four, put on their single-use gloves and following the instructions of the Q-PLAN team conducted the experiments. The goal was to allow the children touch and play with the materials as a form of an experiential and interactive learning.
1. Coffee Grain Body Scrub
2. Biogas Inflated Balloon
3. Colour changing cabbage water with the use of acidic and basic products.
The children’s enthusiasm was apparent from the beginning of the process. As the introduction was
proceeding, almost everyone wanted to participate and share examples from their everyday life. During the
experiments’ part, all students participated in the process and were excited to see the results of each
experiment. Eventually, they seemed to have well-comprehended the concept of bioeconomy and the basic
principles or terms. Some of the children gave the impression to be really intrigued by this process that
were asking whether they were going to participate in similar events in the future.
Teachers’ support /feedback
The teachers confirmed that the event was successful, based on the students’ reactions and enthusiasm.
They also highlighted that some more introverted children participated much more actively than the usual.
They also asked the Q-PLAN team to share more material and insights on this topic for future use, as they
recognised the value of engaging the children in bioeconomy. In addition, it was pointed out that in general
children tend to get more involved with interactive activities, such as this particular one, and seem to gain
more knowledge about the subject compared to typical lectures.
The Q-PLAN team also perceived the event as fruitful and rewarding. The goals, such as children's
engagement and participation, as well as the success of the experiments, were achieved. The concepts and
notions of bioeconomy were well comprehended, and the initiation for further research from the children's
part was evident.