Monday, 21 June 2010

Trust working with the local schools.

Helston College at Loe Pool:

300 Yr 9 pupils (13-14 yrs) are being introduced to the problems of water pollution in Loe Pool. In groups they are exploring the effects “of upstream on downstream”: the problems of run off from agriculture in the past, how measures are now taken to mitigate it - and the potential consequences of their own actions.

Organised by David Chambers National Trust and Lesley Content Helston Collage.
The Wardens of the Penrose Estate and a freelance environmental educator are leading the days.

The students are working within a cross curricular project shared between the geography and science departments of Helston Community College. This follows the success of a cross curricular Yr 8 project at Penrose exploring woodland management.

Each group walks to the Estate and follows a days activities which combines the collection of scientific data (water samples and a simple transect) with a lively way of presenting the problems faced by Loe Pool, including an encounter with an unenlightened “farmer” from the past extolling the virtues of 10:10:10 (and unwittingly exposing the problems of nitrate and phosphate run off); an exploration of some of the physical aspects of the pool, including willow carr areas; a look at how dragonflies are indicator species of water quality and an identity parade of some prime invasive species suspects.

The premise of the day is to consider “environmental criminals”, from “wicked weeds” to ourselves. In particular, the day explores the natural qualities and species of the pool, and highlights the unique and fragile nature of the natural environment within easy reach of the school.

Each group consists of thirty pupils and accompanying teachers. The day acts as the students’ introduction to their GCSE science course and last year was praised by the science department for changing the year group’s perceptions of the subject.

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