This “Parasitization” activity can be used as an icebreaker. It involves the participants in a group activity and it introduces some knowledge on parasitization.
- This parasitization exercise is mainly for fun. It demonstrates that wasps use an ovipositor to lay eggs in their host.
- 15-20 minutes
- One empty bottle per group
- A piece of string (1 meter long) per group
- One ballpoint pen or pencil per group
- Divide the participants into groups (4 to 6 persons per group) of equal size.
- Each group of participants receives a string with a pen or pencil tied to one end of it.
- The bottles are placed in a row, with sufficient space between them, on one end of the room.
- Explain to the participants that they will be parasitic wasps. They will have to lay eggs on a pest. The pen, hanging from the string is the ovipositor, while the bottle will be the pest.
- All groups form one line each at one side of the room (opposite the bottles).
- The first person in each line ties the other end of the string around the waist, with the pen (ovipositor) hanging behind.
- When the signal is given the “wasp” will walk to the bottle and try to put the pen in the bottle as fast as possible, but without using the hands.
- When this has succeeded, he/she will run back to the group and give the ovipositor to the next person.
- Continue until all persons in the group have had their run.
- The fastest group wins.
Some guidelines for discussion
- Which group finished first? Why?
- Which group finished last? Why?
- Have you ever seen parasitization in your field? What did you see?