Science Day 2022: Playful learning with bacteria at this big celebration!

On the last Sunday of November, our lab was represented at ‘Science Day’. Over 30,000 visitors, large and small, were welcomed at various locations, such as universities, museums and companies. The University of Antwerp also opened the doors of her city campus for a major science festival. Of course, we were delighted to attend. There was certainly no lack of enthusiasm! 😊

We would like to re-experience this day, together with you. Three floors full of fun demos and activities to introduce children, and adults, to scientific research. At our booth, the overall theme was: ‘Healthy bacteria in a healthy body’. Children could discover what bacteria look like in reality using real microscopes. Enlarged versions of bacteria, viruses and fungi as colorful cuddly toys were present as well. Children let their imagination run wild and got started with plasticine themselves to model various pieces of art. Look how beautiful!

Furthermore, a creative color corner was an essential part of our booth. For this, we transformed the Isala logo into original coloring pages. For many children, their surprised look showed us this was the first time they got underwear for coloring. 😊 In addition, a self-designed version of goose board attracted the attention of passers-by. This new version focuses on the wonderful world of healthy bacteria and microbiome research. What else did you expect? 😉 In this way, children learned in a fun and playful way which factors might influence the composition of the microbiome. As icing on the cake, we provided a tasty surprise for our small and large visitors. They could enjoy homemade edible agar plates in different colors!

The Isala project received a lot of attention from visitors at our booth as well. We showed our Isala banner to the public for the first time. This is our brand new communication tool on large canvas. The visitors on ‘Science Day’ already got the scoop to admire it. Although, you as well might soon spot this banner at another event where Isala researchers make their voices heard! 😊

You may have guessed it… Together with young and less young, we had a blast on this lovely and enlightening day! Potential junior scientists-to-be could also enjoy a lot of fun activities at other booths. For example, they put mini lab coats on and rolled up their sleeves to make their own toothpaste and bath bombs. But that wasn’t all! They made their own DNA out of candies, laughed with a dancing robot, spoke with a talking parrot, and so much more fun stuff. Both children and adults had a great time, which was written on their happy faces. Even rain didn’t spoil the fun either. The smiles on the kids’ faces brought more than enough sunshine to heat up the entire city campus. 😊
We are already looking forward to the 26th of November 2023 to be standby on this special day again! Hope to see you there!