Science by and for children

The scientific promotional activities with children which we initiated in 2018 have become very popular among Kolibrí’s audience. In this 10th edition of the Festival, we expand this challenge.

The aim is to promote access to science in a universal fashion, for all to understand what surrounds us in a simple language, awakening the children’s interest in these themes. Beyond workshops with scientists and artists, Kolibrí tries to build significant memories and experiences among children, so participation in the events alongside an adult (parents, grandparents, uncles, etc.) is very important for our Festival.

This year, it could not be different. With the support of the Spanish Embassy in Finland we continue to develop this line of work. In 2021, three initiatives linked science and art. Two of them are: Mandarina Collective’s “Beyond the Rainbow”, and Ana Álvarez Piedehierro’s “Oobleck” workshop led by four young girls.

“Beyond the Rainbow” is a science, art, and philosophy workshop. In it, the natural phenomenon of light refraction and the emerging colours were the thread to collectively reflect on empathy and community, and to talk about how our perception changes in front of the same phenomenon or situation.

Since 2020, Mandarina Collective: Ana A. Piedehierro (ES), Inês Montalvão (PT), and Ina Fiebig (DE) started to explore new ways of uniting science and art in an accessible fashion for children. They are passionate about different fields of science and arts. The fundamental values of the collective are to work with diverse audiences, stressing a multicultural, multilingual, and intergenerational approach. As a collective, they believe that art and science are essential for building a responsible, respectful, multicultural, and accessible society.

“Oobleck” is a workshop about the famous slime. A simple, environmentally friendly slime. In this workshop, the children that grew up attending Kolibrí, guided their peers in the preparation of oobleck and reveal the secret of the unexpected properties of this slime. The aim of the youngster-led workshop was to form new scientific monitors, learn among one’s peers, and create a chain of knowledge. Ana A. Piedehierro holds a PhD in Physics and Meteorology and works as a researcher in the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki. Additionally, she has more than 10 years organizing entertaining science workshops, with childhood, youth and families in both Spain and Finland.

The third workshop is “Birds of My Neighbourhood” by Jon Dunn (US) and Inês Montalvão (PT). An initiative that on one hand focuses on the concept of neighbourhood: then sense of belonging to an inclusive and diverse community and, on the other, on biodiversity as a part of the urban landscape. Cultivating this connection with nature promotes a way of acting and caring towards all the members of the community. Bird feeders were constructed in the workshop, and participants received the best advice on the preferred likings of these winged neighbours. Jon is a permaculture designer in a food cooperative, as well as an activist of animal rights, and has experience in interdisciplinary art and architecture; Inês designs exhibitions, original concepts, and experiences for museums. She holds a Licentiate degree in Biology and has professional experience in scientific communication, dissemination, and illustration. Her practice focuses on the intersection of art and science, with which she tries to promote a sense of belonging and connection between nature and people.

Every year Kolibrí invites the children and their families, as well as creative people and experts to participate in these accessible experiences of scientific phenomena, to promote not only the access to science, but also to the different ways of making and explaining science. Nothing is certain or mistaken. There is only the will to enrich us all with new knowledge.