As part of European Researchers’ Night, each year VA (Public & Science) coordinates a mass experiment that involves schools across the whole of Sweden.

Every autumn, thousands of Swedish pupils of all ages are involved in helping researchers gather huge amounts of data in a citizen science project. 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 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. In 2018 more than 12,000 pupils participate.

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.

Previous mass experiments include:

The 2016 Notice Board mass experiment examined the function of the physical notice board in the digital age and won an Open Knowledge Award for Best Open Science Initiative.

In the 2017 experiment on source criticism, researchers and pupils investigated the type of news in young people’s online news feeds.

The 2018 mass experiment is called The Ladybird Experiment. More than 12,000 pupils have been signed up by their teachers to help researchers develop an artificial intelligence that will be able to identify Sweden’s more than 60 species of ladybirds.

If you’d like to find out more, please contact:

Fredrik Brounéus, Researcher & Press Officer at VA, fredrik (a) v-a.se

 

Latest about the mass experiment:


| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Swedish citizen science initiative combines ladybird monitoring with artificial intelligence

Biodiversity is under threat. Can an app that recognises different species of ladybirds help provide a solution? Pupils and members of the public from across Sweden are being invited to get involved in real research to find out in a mass experiment being run as part of the 2018 Researchers’ Night in Sweden. The Ladybird Experiment is joint initiative between the Swedish Museum of Natural History and the civil society organisation VA (Public & Science).

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Swedish pupils to develop source criticism tool in unique research project

Press Release 18 May 2017

Fake news is a topic that is currently generating much debate. But what kind of news is streaming through young people’s digital news feeds? And how trustworthy do young people think this news is? For the first time, researchers and pupils from across Sweden will together be investigating these questions in a mass experiment being run as part of the 2017 Researchers’ Night in Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Europe’s largest science festival celebrated in 250 cities

As European Researchers’ Night kicks off today (Friday 30 September) in 250 cities around Europe, we take a look at some of the activities that will be sparking the interest of members of the public in other countries and showing what researchers really do for society in a fun and engaging way.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Swedish pupils to research notice boards across Sweden

Press release 19 September 2015

In the last two weeks of September, more than 3,000 Swedish pupils will be out on the hunt, with their mobile phones at the ready. Pokémon? No, notice boards! In the Notice Board mass experiment, researchers and pupils will be undertaking pioneering research together.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

Wanted: Swedish pupils to participate in pioneering research

Press release 29 May 2015

They can be found outside the supermarket, at the bus stop, at the swimming pool: public notice boards, covered in handwritten notes, messages and posters. But what is the function of the physical notice board in the digital age? Who is saying what? And why? Scientists are now seeking the help of school pupils to map the contents of public notice boards around Sweden.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

European science festival celebrates 10th anniversary in 27 towns across Sweden

Press release 31 August 2015

On 25 September it’s time for the European science festival Researchers’ Night that is taking place in 300 cities throughout Europe. In Sweden 27 towns are inviting schoolchildren and the general public to meet scientists in a range of activities, including workshops, science shows, science cafés and behind-the-scenes tours of research labs. The aim of Researchers’ Night is to show that scientists are ordinary people with extraordinary jobs.

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| Vetenskap & Allmänhet

CARROTS AND APPLES ON TOP AS SWEDISH PUPILS HELP SCIENTISTS MAP THEIR EATING HABITS

Press release 29 May 2015.

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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