A major project to create a citizen science database about the Starling Inlet is to be launched at school.
The long term initiative which will be run by the science and outdoor learning departments, aims to catalogue the health of the estuary on a biannual basis.
Over the coming years, students will be trained as citizen scientists, transitioning from learners to mentors as they move through the school.
Twice a year, they will spend time collecting data including water samples which will be used to populate a database, thus developing a long standing relationship between the school and its immediate environment.
The project will become embedded into the Science curriculum, with students across the year groups involved in different ways.
The first round of lab and field days will be launched in November, with our outdoor educators working alongside Science teachers to ensure students have the necessary skills to run the project.
Over the next year, a mentor programme involving the Year 12 and 13 students will be established. These students will be able to work with younger students and train them on how to care for our backyard. In addition, they will create and manage the database with the goal to make it public by the end of our third year. This will be populated over time and the data will be used by senior students in research projects.
The project was inspired by the work of hermit scientists who keep detailed logs in their locality, which are providing invaluable insights into climate patterns.
It will be the subject of a presentation by Head of Science Michelle Rines at the NAAEE Research Symposium and Conference later this year.