3. Underground networks
Imagine the world underground. It is dark, but there are various kinds of interaction happening all the time. What does live, move and exist in the soil? If you would close your eyes and start the imaginary journey into the ground, you would probably meet different kinds of soil, roots, microbes, insects, but also tunnels, nests, stones and rocks on your way. And, you would be surrounded by mycorrhizal network. In this exercise participants are encouraged to imagine and understand connections happening under our feet.
Duration: 45 min
Materials: UV-paints, UV-flashlights/lamp, big black paper(s) or 2x150l black plastic garbage bags, masking tape, paint brushes, water cups.
1. Place the black sheets of paper on the floor or attach a couple of garbage plastic bags cut in half to the floor. Sheets should be placed in the middle of the classroom to create one big working surface with participants sitting around.
2. The idea is to fill the surface by painting all possible and impossible structures and forms of life living underground together (35min).
3. When everyone is finished with painting you can switch the lights off and use UV-flashlights to explore the art work (10min).
– We have also prepared other exercises - Pollinator’s daydream - where you can use UV-paints and UV-lights and learn about Plant-pollinator interactions.
– If you do have time we recommend you start before this exercise with an introduction to the symbiotic relationship between fungi and plants by listening to our audio track Vascular Plants and Pine (3:20min) or Fungi (2:40min). You can also watch this animation about Mycorrhizae and afterwards talk with participants about interactions happening in the soil (10min) and continue with playing Mystery of the mycorrhizae -memory card game (30min).
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