Tree-rings as a natural encyclopedia: itinerant and interactive exhibition as an educational tool for students

12:00, Tuesday 28 Jun 2022 (15 minutes)
Lunch Break   12:15 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour 15 minutes)
Salle polyvalente (SH-4800)

In this work we show the application of dendrochronology as an educational resource for schoolchildren and as a mean to disseminate science to society. Tree rings are popularly known in Chile due to the massive use of wood for construction, handicrafts and firewood. The visible tree rings generate a distinct, tangible and familiar curiosity in many people. “Tree-Rings as a Natural Encyclopedia of Environmental Archives” is an exhibition built as an educational project for schoolchildren, which uses tree rings, digital and multimedia materials of Austrocedrus chilensis from Central Chile to disseminate science. The specific objectives of this display were: i) making people aware about dendrochronology, ii) to promote a scientific thinking highlighting the importance of curiosity, iii) to disseminate the present knowledge of the iconic and millennial Andean forests of A. chilensis, and iv) to promote environmental education and nature conservation especially in elementary and middle school students. Our outcomes indicate that dendrochronology is a valuable tool that offers multiple options to develop science education, mathematics and history. More than 7,000 students visited our exhibition of tree ring samples, used microscopes, interacted with digital and multimedia material, and learnt about dendroclimatological and dendroarchaeological findings from Central Chile. This experience confirms the role of dendrochronology as an educational tool of interdisciplinary sciences that draws the attention not only of children, but also of the overall community. Watch here

Universidad Austral de Chile
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