With its latest interactive project "Pig & Click - Build your own pig farm" for schoolchildren, the biology didactics department has won one of a total of ten prizes from the "Science in Dialog" initiative. Under the supervision of Dr. Florian Fiebelkorn, the doctoral student Elena Folsche his working on this exciting project, which aims to introduce schoolchildren to modern farm animal husbandry in a playful way. What's it about?

How can awareness of sustainable and yet economical livestock farming be raised at school? Under the direction of Dr. Florian Fiebelkorn, the new project of the didactics of biology relies on an interactive and multimedia storytelling named "Pig & Click - Build your own pig farm". The jury of the university competition "Show your research!" ("Zeigt eure Forschung!") liked the idea of the sidescroller so much that the project has now won a prize from the initiative "Science in Dialog" ("Wissenschaft im Dialog") - and with it the project was granted financial and professional support.

The main focus of the planned "Scrollytelling", i.e. interactive storytelling with appealing design, animations and an interactive interface, which will be realized by the agency BOK + Gärtner, is to raise the students' awareness of a farmer's work and the sustainability dilemmas that can arise in the face of economic pressure. Making the supposedly best decision from a farmer's point of view is not always easy.

© Osnabrück University | Monkey Business - stock.adobe.com

In the interactive and mobile application "Pig & Click - Build your own pig farm", users can try their hand at being farmers and have to make some important decisions that influence the profitability, sustainability and animal welfare of the virtual pig farm. Under certain circumstances, this may put one or the other user in a moral quandary: Conventional or organic farming? How does this relate to the profitability of such a business? This interactive application is designed to enable students to take the perspective of today's farmers.

Elena Folsche has been a doctoral student in the Department of Biology Didactics since August 2020 and has since been working on the digital project "Pig & Click", among other things. After her teacher training in the courses of Biology and German, she liked the scientific work in Biology Didactics so much that she decided to focus on the didactic teaching of sustainability topics for the next few years. She is particularly interested in the students' engagement with the topics of sustainability in production and consumption as well as modern agriculture. 

© Osnabrück University | Marina Schäper Fotografie

With "Pig & Click", students are put in the shoes of farmers and have to make their own decisions for their pig farm. We want to raise the learners' awareness of sustainable livestock farming and promote their evaluation skills so that they develop a greater appreciation for farmers and their work.

Elena Folsche

In February of this year, the team will receive further training in science communication and public relations through online workshops, and in December 2021, they will once again be subjected to the strict gaze of the jury- we are very excited to see what Elena and Dr. Fiebelkorn have accomplished by the end of the year and hope for a quick game round of "Pig & Click - Build your own pig farm"!