School Marteloscope: Workshop for sixth grade pupils in Slovenia

By Žan Rode, Hana Rožman, Andreja Dolenec and Gregor Torkar

On Friday, January 12, 2024, prospective teachers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana held four different workshops for sixth-grade pupils at the primary school Šmartno pod Šmarno gora. The workshops were part of a practical test of the knowledge acquired in the elective subject Biology Lessons outside school. In cooperation with the OSC partner institutions (Slovenian Forest Service and Slovenian Forestry Institute) of the MULTIPLIERS project, they participated in the co-creation of the School Marteloscope in the forest below the Šmarna gora hill near Ljubljana.

In line with the objectives of the MULTIPLIERS project in Slovenia, workshops were developed to explain forest biodiversity and its ecosystem services to young people. Pupils were invited to work in small groups (5-6). They attended all workshops in 2 hours.

In the first workshop, the pupils were explained the biodiversity of woody plants in the forest and learnt how to identify the plants using identification keys.

In the second workshop, the pupils focused on the three most common tree species (pine, beech and spruce) in the forest. The students looked for wooden pendants on tree trunks, which explained the different uses of wood and wood products. They compared the economic utilisation of different tree species.

The third workshop was dedicated to various epiphytes that grow on the bark of trees. The pupils used the numbered trees of the Marteloscope to play a game of bingo. Through the game, they learnt about the different groups of epiphytes: lichens, mosses, fungi and ferns.

The fourth workshop was dedicated to tree hollows and other small habitats that trees provide for other species. They searched for different hollows and other cracks in the trees and learnt about their inhabitants.

We collected the pupils’ first impressions of the workshops. Here are some examples:

“I really enjoyed this day. The university students had very good workshops. I liked the bingo workshop the most. There was not enough time.”

“I liked the workshop where we looked for red pine products best.”

“I would do everything again except the weather, it was very cold. My favourite part was the workshop where we looked at the holes in the trees. That was fun.”