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Herbariums, water bars and microscope : welcome to the Science Festival of Maripasoula !

During the Science festival, four researchers from LabEx CEBA got the opportunity to fly to Maripasoula in the heart of the French Guiana Amazonian Parc in order to meet the children living in the town and on the banks of the Maroni River.

Marc-Alexandre Tareau – who defended his PhD with the LEEISA Lab on November 8th at the French Guiana University –gave a 3-hour workshop to the Maripasoula’s students. After the presentation of his work and research field, children were happy to leave the classroom and go collect plants in order to produce a herbium of their own class playground. The workshop ended with a Q&A session.

Priscilla Thébaux, another PhD student from the LEEISA Lab flew to Maripasoula. The ethnologist presented a variation of her « Water Bar » that she usually holds in Cayenne. For a week, P. Thébaux demonstrated to the students that taste is not the only thing that matters when drinking water. Indeed, several children got misled by the pink color of a water glass preferring it to water coming from the exact same source but that wasn’t colored.


The Science Village

To end this week of scientific exchange, everyone gathered to the public square of Maripasoula where the children held several workshops on the evolution of different inventions. Children and scientists talked together and learned from each other in a very friendly atmosphere. Visitors got the opportunity to learn a bit more about how confectionery, bike or parachute has evolved through time. A student group prepared an exhibit on space using the imagery from the comics Tintin in three different languages. Finally, the Amazonian Parc staff and scientists were present and were able to talk to the public about very diverse scientific topics.

The LabEx CEBA is happy to have contributed to the event by organizing workshops at the Institut Pasteur Guyane and the LEEISA lab. Manon Discours and Yassamine Lazrek from the Institut Pasteur gave the children the opportunity to observe through a microscope cells infected with malaria disease that are harmless outside of their sick host. This observation triggered a discussion on this prevalent disease. The microscope was crowded with curious and interested students.

Priscilla Thébaux (LEEISA) ended the week in West French Guiana with a different version of her water bar which had adapted to a younger audience. Once again, children (and even their teachers!) were mislded by the color or appearance of water.

The LabEx CEBA wishes to thank the town of Maripasoula for its warm welcome, Véronique Petricevic teacher at Maripasoula school for her availability as well as the management team of the event and the French Guiana Amazonian Parc for its partnership.