Something about evolution.
Ecopatrol conductor: “Do you know what evolution is?”
Children: “What? Revolution?”
Evolution is a process of adaptation of a population to the environment. To be introduced to this concept, in the first game ecopatrol children had to identify five animals according to their particular adaptative features. It wasn’t easy, but with a little help all the animals were finally discovered.
Joining their forces and using their creativity, children then created their own “mysterious animals”: one was a mixture of goat and fish that lives in the Mariannes trench and feeds on lions (sea lions possibly?); another one a real alpha-male cat that is stronger than the sun and feeds on diamonds; another a winged species that eats chicks in order to become as big and as ugly as possible to scare its enemies away… our children created a whole range of strange beings, among which even one named after Donald Trump!
In the next game, children were asked why roses have thorns. Children replied that thorns are “like cannons” that protect the plant from the herbivores, and they learnt that they can also transmit tetanus.
We also got to know a puzzling animal, the sea slug Elysia chlorotica, which can use the chloroplasts of the algae that it eats to catch energy directly from light through photosynthesis.
Then, in order to understand how bats are adapted to live in the darkness, we used blindfolds and make children orientate and try to catch their preys by using only sounds. In this way, they learnt about echolocation and also became more aware of the role of sounds for humans.
After learning about some plants and animals, it was time to discover something about the evolution of a species we know well: humans! One of our key evolutionary feature is the opposable thumb, so we blocked the thumbs of our ecopatrol children and asked them to perform a number of everyday activities, such as writing, opening jars, tying their shoes, using scissors… they found different strategies, but in the end they admitted that opposable thumb makes things easier!
Finally, the kids had to design their own species according to the characteristics of a certain habitat and the species role as predator or prey. They came out with many interesting ideas, such as a kind of tree that has legs in its youth and uses them to find a suitable place in which to put its roots.
Creative greetings from the ecopatrol people, and see you next time!