Biodiversity written with a barcode

UniLodz, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, PoLBOL, Student Invertebrate Zoology Science Club

Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection (15-16 April 2024), Poland & Manufaktura, Shopping Center Lodz (20 April 2024), Poland

The ‘Biodiversity written with a barcode’ workshop took place in the frame of the Lodz Festival of Science, Technology and Art. In total, the workshop was organised in three sessions: twice at UniLodz, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection (15 and 16 April) for secondary school students on invertebrates, eDNA and barcoding and one session in the biggest shopping centre in the city (20 April) – Manufaktura – for all interested people present in a shopping centre (without age limit). The aim of all three workshops was to to familiarise participants with methods of learning about biological diversity using genetic tools.

Content 15 & 16 April
The workshop was conducted twice, on 15 and 16 April. Each time the same program was presented for other classes of secondary school students. It consisted of two parts:

1. A field part – in the faculty didactic garden, where live freshwater invertebrates were collected and observed, as well as the sample of environmental DNA from water was taken and filtered; participants were familiarized with the concepts of biodiversity, eDNA and barcoding;
2. A laboratory part – in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, where students divided into small groups participated in the educational game that involved using barcodes to recognize environments and habitats.

Feedback summary 15 & 16 April
The workshop went very well. All participants were engaged and coped with the task. There were also questions from interested people. The accompanying teachers were satisfied with their participation in the workshop.

Participants at UniLodz (15 & 16 April), Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection.

Content 20 April
One day workshop in a busy aisle with a lot of participants. Three types of activities involving participants were carried out:

  1. „Become an environmental detective”: barcoding game consisted of finding barcodes in the water, identifying species and making barcode bracelets which were becoming gifts for participants of the game
  2.  „Course to become a polar explorer”: Arctic / Antarctic brain teaser – the puzzle in which participants were asked to correctly place particular species in the North or South pole. The game was enriched in the show of some Arctic and Antarctic species/ exhibits: e. g. polychaetes, crustaceans and molluscs
  3. „Inhabitants of Łódź rivers” – show of live aquatic invertebrates collected in the habitats of small rivers flowing through the city (there are 19 of rivers in the city!)

Feedback summary 20 April
The workshop was a success. The participants’ interest was great. The place offered by the shopping center turned out to be very favorable, as it allowed interaction with many people from different age groups and with different interests. After this event, we already know that we will participate in the festival in the shopping center with our shows and educational games in the following years.