Montpellier: Science invites itself to the Jardin des Plantes in an innovative virtual treasure hunt

A treasure hunt to explore the Jardin des Plantes is what the University of Montpellier offers throughout the summer. An original outing to learn while having fun in the shade of the trees.

Aphids, wasps and other parasites proliferate in the Jardin des Plantes! Fortunately, the situation is under control: these are animals and insects that visitors to this new virtual exhibition can display on their smartphones. The perfect opportunity to take advantage of almost five hectares of coolness in the heart of the city centre. And for once, the phone is allowed!

A free and fun outing

This “free, fun and geolocated wandering” is “a new way to discover science”, rejoices Mathieu Sicard, professor at the University of Montpellier. It’s a real treasure hunt that makes its arrival throughout the park, encouraging you to watch the garden down to the smallest detail to locate the ten targets to be scanned. Once found, a glance with the application reveals the animals and insects on the screen to discover an often unexpected cohabitation…

Because this project led by the University of Montpellier is an opportunity to rediscover the Jardin des Plantes from an original angle: the theme of symbiosis. Young and old alike will discover how species, which often do not have much in common, have a common form of life. Who knew that aphids could welcome – without having consented to it – wasp eggs?

The first conquered visitors

In the shade of the trees, Thibault is one of the first to take part in the game. Sitting on a bench after having found one of the small panels scattered in the garden, he reads the explanatory sheet on the strange symbiosis of the clownfish. “Thanks to the game, you can access places in the garden that you wouldn’t normally think of visiting”says the student.

Finally, it is also possible for young people to benefit from it anywhere in France. The application makes it possible to print cards to be hidden in a schoolyard or a garden to reproduce the exhibition anywhere.

Top start this Saturday, July 2!

The virtual exhibition was inaugurated this Saturday July 2 in the presence of Philippe Augé, President of the University of Montpellier. About thirty people gathered in the shade of the trees of the Jardin des Plantes to listen to the various players behind the project. Following speeches by Isabelle Parrot-Smietana, Vice President for Science-Society relations at the university, and Mathieu Sicard, Professor specializing in symbiosis and mosquitoes, the first visitors were invited to inaugurate the ‘exposure.

Practical information: The virtual exhibition is free during the opening hours of the Jardin des Plantes, Boulevard Henri IV (Tuesday to Sunday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.). It will be accessible from July 2 to October 22, 2022. The exhibition is accessible from eight years old with the help of parents. The smartphone app StreetScience is necessary to display the treasure hunt and make the various elements appear in augmented reality on the screen of your phone (Android or Apple).

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Montpellier: Science invites itself to the Jardin des Plantes in an innovative virtual treasure hunt

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