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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
Public Engagement

European Researchers' Night 2021

European Researcher's Night 2021

The Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health is teaming up with food scientists from the University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Science, UMCG and Forum Groningen - the cultural hotspot for current events in Groningen and the largest living room for its citizens – in order to explore our love/hate relationship with food.

Food is all around us, but not necessarily in a healthy way. The gap between knowing what healthy food is and actually eating healthy is growing every day. Because of this, the numbers for obesity and diabetes are skyrocketing every year and people generally feel bad about their consumption intake on a daily basis. Science can help people make more informed choices, to understand and sympathize with their behaviour and to explain our food environment from different perspectives.

We believe that sharing our research is just as important as doing the research itself. That is why Aletta focuses on public engagement and science promotion. With our project our audience will be encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle in an understandable and accessible way without being didactic.

The European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Our programme consists of 3 events:

Education program for primary schools : How much do you know about food?

Interdisciplinary food scientists, connected to the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, are developing an education program in cooperation with the Dutch Institute for Nature Education (IVN).

The program entails interactive workshops from scientists with a multidisciplinary background in food research. The goal of the education program is to support the teaching of food skills in primary education. In one-hour guest lectures, pupils from groups 5 to 8 learn about one of the five themes: why do you eat what you eat, how do you age healthily, what happens in your body after you eat, where does your food come from, what did people eat in the past. For each lesson, a concept has been developed with interactive experiments and there will be time for the scientists to share their own research with a young audience.

The lessons are scheduled according to the availability of the scientists and the schools. The aim is to visit 20 schools in the North Region and to provide two guest lessons at each school. There is still room for schools and scientists to participate!

Discussion board to support the teaching of food skills in primary education
Discussion board to support the teaching of food skills in primary education

Interactive exhibit at Forum Groningen: 'Let's dish up!'

A fun, simple and engaging exhibit on food science will be located on the first floor of Forum Groningen. It will be part of the education program of the schools but it also works as a stand-alone exhibit for the general audience of the Forum Groningen.

The installation will consist of an interactive video booth, a thought provoking snack automat, meals throughout history and the future, and will also provide more in depth information about the topic. It forms an informal and playful connection between researchers and the community.

The exhibit will be in the Forum for two weeks starting 24 September.

Aletta’s last exhibit on viruses and bacteria called Little Troublemakers
Aletta’s last exhibit on viruses and bacteria called Little Troublemakers

Aletta’s Kitchen: The Greatest Groninger Food Quiz

On 24 September, two interactive game shows called the ‘The Greatest Groningen Food Quiz’ will take place at ‘Aletta’s Kitchen’ in the Groningen Forum. Both shows will involve a fun quiz, built together with researchers, food professionals, nutritionists, citizens, and artists which will allow participating teams and the audience to discover striking scientific findings about ‘who/what determines what we eat’. At the same time, the audience will be able to learn more about the profession of a researcher and how research experiments are done.

The programme content should raise awareness of different influences on our food choices (for example advertising and supermarket strategies, governmental interventions etc.) and how research can be beneficial for the public and can empower children and adults to make healthier food choices.

The morning show (10:00 - 11:00) will be organized for schooled children in the age of 7-11. School teams from different Groningen neighborhoods will have the opportunity to attend the show at the Forum and will together with their schoolmates compete in a quiz. Further, schools and classes will be able (and are encouraged) to watch the show online (available on Platform F of  the Forum Groningen website). The kid’s show will be moderated by thirteen year old Lise Naus and researcher Ruth Koops van ‘t Jagt.

The evening show (20:00 - 21:00) for adults will be organized in the same style as the children’s show with some alterations in the programme. The competing teams will consist of different Groningen neighbourhood communities. Everyone is welcome to attend the show after getting a ticket on the Groningen Forum website.

Aletta's Kitchen stage at Forum Groningen
Aletta's Kitchen stage at Forum Groningen
Last modified:27 August 2021 3.44 p.m.
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