Monday, 8 July 2013

Students swap the science lab for Loe Pool

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around Loe Pool. Over a two week period all the students in Year 9 science classes at Helston Community College have been visiting Penrose to study water quality and biodiversity.

'The Farmer' talking to the students about pollution in Loe Pool
The trip was lead by our fantastic environmental storyteller, Mark Harandon, who brings science to life for the 14 and 15 year olds. After walking to Penrose from the school, the year 9s get stuck in straight away testing for nitrates and phosphates in the River Cober. They then walk through the wet willow wood and talk about different plants as indicator species of different habitats. The shallows of Loe Pool provide the perfect spot to sample for freshwater invertebrates where the students can discover the diversity of life under the surface. After lunch, the group meets ‘The Farmer’ one of Mark’s characters who transports them back to past farming times, when many of the fields sloping down to Loe Pool were intensively managed and many chemicals were added to the soil which polluted the Pool. For the last part of the day the students survey the plants and see the great diversity of life in the wet meadow which adjoins the Pool.

A Golden Ringed dragonfly lands on a student

This is the eighth year this trip has been run which means that nearly 3000 pupils have studied Loe Pool and gained an insight into why it’s so special. The trip has been built in to the school’s curriculum so that means the topics of water quality and biodiversity will be taught at Loe Pool every year for the foreseeable future.

We are hoping to receive some blog posts soon from the actual students who took part so you’ll be able to get their perspective on the day!

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