Opening kids’ eyes to nature

Eagle-eyed . . . Carrie Ambler and Reid Winders (both 9) look through the microscopes at rocks and fossils at Duntroon’s Vanished World. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Vanished World Centre is opening children’s eyes to the world around them.

The Duntroon attraction is hosting school holiday activities, helping children use microscopes to delve deeper into the world and recognise what is happening on their back doorstep.

Vanished World team leader Sarah White will set up three microscopes for children to look at rocks, leaves, flowers, pollen, fossils, fossilised shells, and help them understand what people are looking at.

There will be another small microscope set up with a video screen for smaller children to be able to view what they are seeing on a screen. Another microscope will be set up to show slides of diatoms for them to experience. Children will be given a work sheet and a certificate afterwards.

Vanished World secretary and volunteer Mike Gray said it was a hands›on activity for children to be involved in during the school holidays.

‘‘Children will get the chance to learn how to use a microscope and the most important thing then is to observe, and so it’s the skill of looking closely and trying to see more than your naked eye would just show you,’’ Mr Gray said.

‘‘Often we see but we don’t observe.’’

The activity would give the children an opportunity to explore while also being educational.

‘‘It’s important that people learn about their environment, and all these cover different aspects of their environment, at the microscopic level because we don’t see that and we only see things at the visual level and at the microscopic level there’s so much more to learn.

‘‘Most people only get to microscopes when they get to secondary school in a narrow area, whereas this is much broader. We’re hoping to stimulate early interest in science.’’

The activities will be running during normal opening hours through the school holidays. Entry for each child is $5.