Every autumn since 2009, thousands of Swedish pupils of all ages have been helping researchers gather huge amounts of data. These so-called mass experiments are of mutual benefit; the researchers get more data than they could otherwise easily collect, the pupils get the opportunity to participate in real research, and the teachers get material and methods based upon state-of-the-art research to integrate in the curriculum.

VA (Public & Science) coordinates the mass experiments as part of the European science festival, Researchers’ Night.  Schools from across the whole of Sweden are involved and as many as 18,000 pupils were engaged in the 2013 experiment.

The mass experiments efficiently link education to research, establishing valuable contacts with researchers and giving students insights into research methods and scientific thinking.

VA helps the researcher to design an experiment whereby students gather data guided by their teacher. Research projects are also selected according to how well they fit into the curriculum. Instructions and teachers’ manuals are jointly developed by the researcher and VA, and researchers also communicate directly with individual teachers and students using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Examples of mass experiments to date are:

The 2015 Teabag Experiment will involve pupils burying teabags to help inform climate change research.

For further information about the mass experiments, please contact Lotta Tomasson, Public Engagement Manager

 

Latest about the mass experiment:


| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Researchers’ Night experiment 2014 – Vegetable Experiment results English summary

Swedish children and teenagers are pretty diligent at eating fruit and vegetables, according to the results of a mass experiment organised as part of Researchers’ Night 2014. In the Vegetable Experiment, scientists at the Swedish National Food Agency enlisted the help of over 5,500 pupils, who acted as research assistants for a day. Carrots and apples top the list of most eaten fruit and vegetables.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Carrots and apples on top as Swedish pupils help scientists map their eating habits

Swedish children and teenagers are pretty diligent at eating fruit and vegetables, according to the results of a mass experiment organised as part of Researchers’ Night. In the Vegetable Experiment, scientists at the Swedish National Food Agency enlisted the help of over 5500 pupils, who acted as research assistants for a day. Carrots and apples top the list of most eaten vegetables and fruit.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Swedish children to help climate scientists by burying tea bags

Press release 9 February 2015.

Is it possible to read the future in tea leaves? This is what scientists at Umeå University are hoping to find out and they are now looking for school classes across Sweden to participate in a mass experiment that will help to inform climate change research. The so-called ‘Tea Bag Experiment’ is part of the European science festival, Researchers’ Night.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Swedish researchers seek pupils to help map eating habits

Press Release 13 May 2014

How much fruit and vegetables do children and teenagers consume in Sweden? The Swedish National Food Agency is looking for investigative pupils who want to be research assistants for a day. This mass experiment is part of the science festival, Researchers’ Night.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

10,000 pupils assist Swedish scientists with climate research

Press release 11 April 2014

Spring is now here and it arrives earlier each year.  A warmer climate means an earlier spring and a later autumn. But how is the delayed onset of autumn affecting the Swedish ecosystem? A mass experiment involving over 10,000 pupils across Sweden is helping scientists to study the effect of climate change on deciduous trees in autumn.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

How does a tree know it is autumn? – The Researchers’ Night Mass Experiment 2013

How does a tree know it is autumn? How is climate change affecting when the leaves of Swedish deciduous trees turn colour in the autumn? Are there variations in autumn leaf development between different tree species and in different locations in Sweden? Is it possible to study autumn using satellite images? These are the questions that the mass ‘Autumn Experiment’ is helping scientists to answer.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Children to help researchers map climate change

Press release 20 May 2013

Is climate change leading to a delay in when leaves turn colour in the autumn? Pupils from across Sweden will be helping researchers determine how the climate is affecting the growing season of plants and the onset of autumn. This mass experiment is part of the science festival Researchers’ Night.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Children’s photographs reveal dangerous environments

Press release 18 March 2013

The places that children perceive to be the most risky are roads, buildings, the outdoors, their homes and playgrounds. These are the findings of an analysis of photographs taken by children from across the whole of Sweden.

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