Everyone is caught up in the potato fever!

By Hannah Kwella, University of Bonn

After a visit to the Bonn University’s ecological farm Campus Wiesengut, exploring the new project theme “Biodiversity and Agriculture”, our partner primary school, Michaelschule Bonn, chose the Doors Open Day at their school to set a “Multiplying Event”. They organized a stand on the topic of potatoes. There, the pupils not only presented to the school community through posters what they had learned (e.g. information about potato cultivation and harvesting, potato varieties and their characteristics as well as about pests and beneficial organisms of the potato plants), but also showcased their documentary of the field trip to the visitors (you can find it here).

Furthermore, the children also organized a potato tasting. Visitors could try different varietiesto identify their special characteristics. They appreciated the offer: “What a cool idea!”, and at the end of the day, they were happy to take home the potatoes harvested by the pupils in return for a donation to the school fund.

The project received very positive responses. Parents reported, “The children were really excited and told us a lot (about their fieldtrip) at home.” “Our son immediately checked the potatoes at home to see what variety we had, which was Glorietta. After that, he started investigating the array of other varieties available, which one is the most common, and so on. It kept him busy for quite a long time.” 

Not only the pupils and parents were enthusiastic, but also the teachers involved. One teacher summarised: “The Project was a highlight. And I think the best part was this cooperation between school and university, scientists, students, and pupils. I enjoy networking, and it once more highlighted the value of mutual learning that arises from it. The children were really excited about personally harvesting potatoes. Doing it yourself, touching, holistic learning, that’s really a highlight. And that the energy spreads throughout the school community via this school festival.

The school principal also confirmed: “The project is very well-received; it’s nice to see how enthusiastic the children and their parents are. They are now in potato fever.”