Where do we come from?Federal University of Minas Gerais, city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The year of 2006 – the begining...Débora d’Àvila Reis(Institute of Biological Sciences and Museum of Knowledge),undergraduate medical students,and Mateus di Mambro (undergraduate student of rom the School of Fine Arts)
Our original aims:• Medical students wanted to be with children and talk to them about issues related to the human body• Mateus (student from the School of Fine Arts) wanted to practice working at the science/art interface• I had an educational challenge: shifting children from the position of mere receptors of information to producers and debaters of their own doubts
Who we are From the third year of the project onwards, undergraduate students from different areas (Fine Arts, Medicine, Comunication, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences) and also Professor Maurício Gino (Institute of Fine Arts) and Cristina d’Ávila (Scholl of Education) were integrated to the project Children (7-12 years old), not only from schools located in Belo Horizonte, but also from rural areas of the state of Minas Gerais*** Collaboration of Educational Radio of UFMG
Methodology• We meet kids at school, we talk with them about science, about the relevance of question in the mainspring of science… and invite them to take part of the project• Children send their questions to us• The issues are discussed between interns (undergraduate and graduate students) and UFMG researchers (for about 3 months)• We return to the school and stay there for 4-5 days• Workshops• Questions and answers are recorded audios (broadcast at BH and rural areas) short animations
• The disclosure of the voice and image of children is pre-approved by their relatives or tutors, by signing an appropriate consent term
WorkshopsThe questions presented by the children, in their socio- cultural context, should be considered the guiding element for the conception of the hands-on activties
What do the children want to know?It depends...But some questions are recurrent
Why was I made with this color? Image WorkshopThe history and rise of the brazilian people
Why do I feel pain? How do I hear? Senses Workshop Why do I feel hunger? How can I feel smell? Stimulating the tact Sensorial system, neurons, nerve structure, hypothalamus, Homeostasis systems
Important!The hands-on activities should followcertain assumptions:
1- The believe that children have a great capacityfor complex thoughtThe issues should be discussed in depth, withoutsimplificationsSpecial attention should be taken with the language andthe employing of analogies
2- The valuing of previous knowledge of each childDuring the workshops more questions arise…comments, stories of life…Adults and children exchange ideas and experiences.They have the opportunity to raise hypothesis, propose ways ofaddressing them, make deductions and express feelings related to thediscussed issues.
3- The emotionTo all participants of the project, the workshops representmoments and spaces of living and getting emotional withscience
What have you done here? by Yurij Castefranchi I’ve painted masks I’ve watched short animations I’ve worked with a real brain No response Human body model Sense workshop Microscope Lectures
What would you like to do again? Painting masks The real brain Watching videos Other activities Human body model Sense workshop Microscope
- The children actively participate on the project, alongside researchers, undergraduate and graduate students.In this sense, the project’s products(audios and short animated films) could beconsidered as a result of a co-creation process
the website• To disseminate the products (videos, texts, short videos)• To amplify the space of interaction• Stablish a two-handed communication channel among children and project team and also an inclusive space with several nodes, from which children, parents, teachers and academic community could take part.• In this space, everyone should be communicators in potential: through the sending of questions, answers and testimonials.
What we have observed so far** The website has contributed to the construction of child’s self- esteemThe child can hear her/his own voice, and she / he can placesher/himself as a science communicator, and also as a culturalproductor.**However, in the website, we haven’t managed to break with thetraditional pedagogical-communicational model yet.
Future goals• What do children living in Portugal want to know about the human body?• And the children from Finland? from France? from the USA? from Netherlands?• And the Brazilian kids from Kaxinaua tribe, who live at the north of Minas Gerais state?• The intention is to receive recorded questions from children living in other states of Brazil, from other cultures and soon also from other countries. So they could change questions and perceptions about the human body and also enrich the website with different sonorities (voices from different parts or the world)
Finally, we want to highlight the fact that this brazilian Children’sUniversity, doesn’t intend to forsake the activities that don’t involve theexclusive employment of the website. We’re fully conscious that thecontact with children, through our workshops, has a great capacity ofarising the curiosity for scientific knowledge, which can becomplemented by the website.I