INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

Children and teachers of Centro Social do Bairro organise INCREASE-infused exhibition for World Pulses Day

The Centro Social do Bairro, located in Famalicão, North of Portugal, is an enthusiastic participant in the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment (CSE), having been involved since its first edition.

The institution, known as Centro Social do Bairro – Famalicão, is a Private Institution of Social Solidarity that provides care for children from 5 months of age up to 10 years old. Children between the ages of 6 and 10 attend primary school and also utilise the institution's services for lunch, after-school activities, and during year-long holidays.The institution boasts an impressive pedagogical farm where children are encouraged to interact with nature freely.

Each year, the children of Centro Social do Bairro actively participate in the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment, cultivating various bean varieties and monitoring their growth. The level of involvement and enthusiasm displayed by the children is remarkable. In the first INCREASE Citizen Science Photo and Video Contest in 2022, their entry received the highest number of votes, earning them INCREASE t-shirts, which they proudly wear while sowing their beans, tracking their growth, and inserting data into the INCREASE app, under the supervision of teachers.

To celebrate World Pulses Day in 2024, the children and teachers of Centro Social do Bairro organised an exhibition showcasing different varieties of beans they produced. Additionally, they cultivated other Portuguese pulses’ varieties, such as chickpeas and lupins, which were also featured in the exhibition. The exhibition officially opened on February 14th, kicked off with a musical performance by the children of a song dedicated to pulses and written by teachers. All this was combined with a fitting choreography. Subsequently, the children took on the role of hosts and presented all the elements of the exhibition in a very organised manner. This year, the students also prepared a delicious lupin-based snack called “tremoços” for all exhibition participants to try and enjoy. Centro Social do Bairro published wonderful pictures of the exhibition and a video of the children performing the pulses song here on Facebook.

The INCREASE exhibition was open to children, individuals with cognitive disabilities, elderly people, their respective families, and institution staff, welcoming hundreds of attendees!