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WissensFluss: The Berlin Panke

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Knowledge flows! For this, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin pursues different approaches from education, citizen science and art to make this knowledge accessible to ALL. WissensFluss – 'Knowledge Flow' – is a hands-on project where students, their families and the public are invited to explore and discover the biodiversity and habitats of a local Berlin river, the Panke.

At the core we are working with the art institution LAS (LIGHT ART SPACE) to initiate new forms of science communication and thereby engage the public. WissensFluss includes digitally guided river and wetland excursions, educational projects and citizen science research. As a PANKExplorer, you will be supported by a team of expert guides and specialised scientists from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

Education

We invite 5th to 7th grade students to become PANKExplorers. With our educational programme, which is tailored to the Berlin curriculum (3.5: "Plants, Animals, Habitats" as well as 3.2: "Habitats and their inhabitants – diverse interactions"), the pupils explore special features of the ecosystem around the Panke and thus become enthusiastic about its protection.

Our goal this year is to make this project together with schools. Our long time goal is to anchor the project in schools in order to observe the changes in the habitats on and around the Panke and to bring the children closer to urban nature right under their noses. Especially the schools that are located near to the River Panke to become part of the Panke community. 

In the next step, the pupils will collect standardised data on the flora and fauna in and around the Panke and take on the active role of Citizen Scientists to immerse themselves in the biodiversity of the past and present of the once "gushing" river.

Citizen Science

What exactly is Citizen Science?

All over the world, volunteers of all ages are involved in projects together with scientists. The common goal? Creating new knowledge! Citizen Scientists work on research questions, to bring a gain in scientific knowledge or both science and society (Green Paper Citizen Science 2020). 

The WissensFluss team of scientists and guides invites you to explore and discover the Panke together. Become a PANKExplorer and get to know the different habitats of the river and learn more about the plants and animals that occur in and around the river. You will be trained to specifically collect and compile data on the occurrence of birds, insects, plants and small animals in the water, which serve as indicators of water quality. You will also learn about the ongoing renaturation measures on the Panke and explore the special features of your local river.

In our new digital Field Guide you can get started right away and discover the flora and fauna along the Panke.

WissensFluss Excursions

As a citizen, you can dive deeper into biodiversity and discover urban nature on the Naturblick platform. A connection to nature has many positive effects on human health – both physically, mentally and emotionally (American Psychological Association, Yale Environment 360, Children & Nature Network). 

Berlin is an amazing capital city in that it has so much nature so accessible to the residents and visitors. The Panke represents only a small part of Berlin's rivers and wetlands. Our project offers guided digital tours and interactive excursions, which mainly focus on the Panke and wetlands in the Berlin surrounding area (Spreewald, Spandauer Forst and Karower Teiche). As a result you can immerse in the natural wetlands and learn what Berlin might have looked like.

More information about the WissensFluss excursions and registration are available here.

Collaboration between LAS and the museum

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We are fascinated by the unknown. Together with the art foundation LAS, we want to stimulate new forms of science communication and explore alternative ways to engage with the public. Part of our collaboration is to make scientific findings tangible through focusing on the intersection of science and human experience.

The Anthropocene, a new era influenced by humankind, particularly needs for synergetic, interdisciplinary approaches to cope with the challenges of today and tomorrow. We want to support a new culture of knowledge and learning through a stimulating dialogue between two different forms of critical thinking.

Berl-Berl in the Halle am Berghain

For Berl-Berl, his new work exploring Berlin’s history in the Ice Age, the artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen was given access to the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin’s extensive digital sound and object archive of local fauna and flora. In combining his images and recordings from the wetlands with research on extinct and living animal species, the artist builds a bridge between us and the history beneath our feet. The Halle am Berghain becomes a gateway in which the history and the present form a symbiosis.

The project links the perspectives of various disciplines and times on the landscape. It also connects technological innovation with local traditions, myths, and legends while reflecting the current research in wetlands.

Site-specific soundscape by Arca & Matt McCorkle

In collaboration with the musician Arca and the sound artist Matt McCorkle, Kudsk Steensen created a site-specific soundscape for the installation. It is a composition of samples of Arca’s voice, sounds from the wetlands, and settings of the various words for "Berlin" from different centuries. The soundscape is produced by a dedicated sound system highlighting different elements while visitors move through the space, experiencing how the anachronistic world changes and unfolds.

From 10 July to 26 September 2021, the installation will transform the Halle am Berghain into a gateway leading to a world of lost swamplands and extinct species.

  • Book your ticket for the Berl-Berl installation at the Halle am Berghain here.
  • More information about the WissensFluss excursions and registration are available here.