New Forest students get stuck into science

Published Monday 7 July 2008

Over 300 students from four local secondary schools have been getting back to nature thanks to a fun and inspiring new project.

Armed with pond nets, ranging poles and state-of-the-art high-tech data loggers, pupils from Hounsdown, Priestlands and Testwood Schools and the Forest Education Centre have been exploring science within the New Forest National Park.

The New Forest Outdoor Science Project, supported by the British Ecological Society and Texas Instruments, aims to make ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ an integral part of their science education.

Students develop leadership skills and design their own fieldwork and data collection methods, before leading their classmates through a peer support system.

Amanda Elmes, Education Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This project is important as it allows pupils to study the environment through real life situations. Not only do they get to plan their own field day, they also get to enjoy a day outside experiencing the unique qualities of the National Park’.

A student from Hounsdown School focus group added: ‘I especially liked the river investigation as it was fun and there was a lot to learn – we’ve got the resources and the National Park on our doorstep so it’s great to get out and use it!’


Notes to Editors:

1. The local schools which took part in the project are; the Forest Education Centre, Hounsdown Science College, Priestlands School and Testwood Sports College.

2. The New Forest Outdoor Science Project is a collaboration between the New Forest National Park Authority, the British Ecological Society (BES), Texas Instruments and the Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS).

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