This year started with the first Science project at the European School of Lille! We were selected to participate in #ElèveTonBlob, a project within the Alpha Mission conducted by Thomas Pesquet in the International Space Station. This project was proposed by the CNES in partnership with the CNRS and with the support of the Toulouse Academy.
This original educational experience, based on the study of the behavior of the Physarum polycephalum. Better known by its common name “blob”, Physarum polycephalum is neither a plant, nor an animal, nor a fungus. This single-celled organism without a brain is able to move, feed, organize and even transmit its learning to a congener. These learning abilities are the subject of research in the laboratory of Audrey Dussutour ,CNRS Research Director at the Center for Research on Animal Cognition (CRCA; CNRS/Université Toulouse III –Paul Sabatier).
The aim of this project is to implement scientific protocols and compare observations on behavior, nutrition with the results obtained in the ISS (Blob-ISS).
The students of S1Fr, S1En, S2Fr, S2En and P3fr participated in this project supervised by their teachers Mrs. Demonchaux (integrated science teacher), Mrs. Seyman Mélina (documentalist-teacher), Mrs. Deloeil (primary teacher) and Mrs. Magnier (maths teacher).
We had a great time working with the BLOB! After waking up the sclerotia, we conducted several experiments (cafeteria, obstacles, breathing, U-trap) !
Some of our blobs :
We also participated in the Blob-Terre adventure (between October 11 and 17, 2021). The BLOB-ISS project studies the effects of no gravity on blob behavior. Thomas Pesquet himself took care of it in the ISS. On Earth, we implemented two scientific experiments developed by Audrey Dussutour to compare our observations to those of Thomas Pesquet on the ISS. The technical challenge was to be able to take pictures every 10 minutes in the dark, for 4 days. The results will be published in the next issue of the school journal !
Here you can see the timelapse of the results : https://vimeo.com/635504929
Many thanks to Mrs. Seyman for her work on technical solutions, Mrs. Magnier for her support in the production of diagrams, to Michel ”the gardian of the blobs” and to everyone else participating in the project!
For more information : https://missionalpha.cnes.fr/fr/mission-alpha/les-experiences-made-france/education