Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Kids at Floriade

28 March 2012

What is underneath?
Relax and Heal, Green Engine, Education and Innovation, Environment and World Show Stage are the main divisions of the 2012 Venlo Floriade in the Netherlands. The focus on younger visitors and schools was particularly pleasing from my point of view.
Simple exhibits and demonstrations inspire children to look more closely at how plants "work" and where food comes from. When children live in large cities, the connection between links in the food chain are not always apparent. A larger than life radish for example has only the green foliage visible but invites children to "pull it out" exposing the familiar shape of the radish. There were other examples like this allowing the kids to make the connection between the distinctive plant that is above the ground and the familiar food source hidden underneath.
Other exhibits invite visitors to connect the scents with the plants.

Match the smells

I particularly liked a hands on demonstration of the effort a plant has to go through to lift water up into its leafy canopy. Children, or indeed anyone, are encouraged to pump up a column of water to get some idea of the energy the plant uses.

Some lucky children attend the Kids University for Cooking in the Floriade 'House of Taste'.
Kids University for Cooking
Here, school classes participate in workshops and taste studios designed to make them aware of their dietary habits in a fun and exciting way.
The organizers hope to use some of the by products of these sessions in the on-site restaurants and cafes. The proceeds being recycled to develop new teaching programs and learning concepts.
Visit www.kokkerelli.nl for an overview of the program incorporated at Floriade.

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