The Poll-Ole-GI SUDOE workshop organised a workshop on pollinators for children at the IV Castilla y León Fair of Science and Technology

On Saturday 5th May the University of Burgos was the venue for the IV Castilla y León Fair of Science and Technology. The aim of this event was to encourage a scientific-technological vocation among young people. The Poll-Ole-GI SUDOE team held a workshop on “Improving the lives of our pollinators” so as to bring the project alive for children aged from 10 to13.

The workshop was attended by some 40 children and consisted of 6 different stages. Before looking at practical aspects they were made aware of the importance of pollinators to certain crops and in particular that of sunflowers, together with the various activities of the Poll-Ole-GI SUDOE project aimed at improving the lives and food resources of pollinators.

FOTO 1 – Children manipulating insect traps.

Subsequently a sample of pollinators was taken by using pan traps placed in a flower meadow established as part of the garden of the UBUCOMP Group at the Higher Polytechnic School (Escuela Politécnica Superior, EPS). The traps took the form of plates filled with a soapy solution to snare the insects; to make them more efficient they were of various very bright colours so as to attract all kinds of pollinators. They were set 48 hours in advance to ensure that a reliable sample would be obtained.

In the greenhouse of the EPS of the University of Burgos the children followed the process of the characterisation of the samples obtained. Firstly they identified the pollinators that were captured in the pan traps. Subsequently they did the same with the seeds used on the flower meadow, associating each seed with the plant when it begins to grow.

The next step consisted of building insect shelters of recycled material such as plastic bottles and hollow stems of differing thicknesses. To make these insect houses, glue was placed in recycled plastic bottles so as to stick the hollow reeds inside them and thus encourage the insects to make their nests. In this way pollinators are provided with both shelter and food thanks to the plants that bloom in the flower meadow.

FOTO 2 – Children building nest boxes.

To end the workshop the children were given a seed in a flowerpot to take home. María Milagros Navarro, a lecturer in Agrofood Engineering and the Rural Context and a member of the UBUCOMP Group, emphasised the educational value of the workshop: “It is an opportunity for children to understand the importance of looking after pollinators and their influence on the agricultural ecosystem.

The 4th-year students of the degree in Agrofood Engineering and the Rural Context, Mercedes Yartu, Noelia Sainz, and Enrique Mínguez, helped to organise the workshop in collaboration with Felisa Abajo, María Milagros Navarro, Evan Marks, Javier López, and Carlos Rad.