Tag Archives: Environmental Science

Citizen science project to create soil radioactivity map!

cernStudents at Ruislip High School  in West London would like to invite schools, students and other interested individuals from across the UK to support them in creating a soil radioactivity map of the UK. The group, called RISE UK (Radioactivity in Soil Experiment UK), are using a CERN@School particle detector to determine the exact type of radioactivity produced by soil. The detector uses technology from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and combines physics with earth science in a novel way.

RISE UK needs your help to collect samples from as many parts of the UK as possible. We will analyse every sample received and then share your results with you a couple of weeks later.

Here are the steps for soil collection:

  1. Choose a natural and undisturbed location such as a wood or field. Sampling must be at least two meters away from paths, buildings and walls.
  2. Using a small spade and wearing protective gloves, dig to around 20 cm depth.
  3. Collect between 20 and 30g of soil from 20cm depth and place into a sealed, transparent plastic bag (such as a freezer bag).
  4. Write your name, date and location on the sample bag.
  5. Note the rock and soil type at the location (if known) and any other important features such as nearby power stations and any possible sources of contamination.
  6. Put the sealed sample into a jiffy bag and post to the following address:

RISE UK c.o. Ms Wijitunge

Ruislip High School

Sidmouth Drive




If you have any questions regarding this project, please email: Jessica.hamer@iop.org

Get involved in the bee-cause!

great-british-bee-count-logo-waitroseunnamedOur bees are in crisis. They’ve lost much of their natural habitat in the past 60 years (including 97 per cent of wildflower meadows) and are threat from a variety of things like pesticides and intensive farming.

But now the UK Government is putting a Bee Action Plan into place to tackle bee decline. And tens of thousands of citizen scientists are helping bees in our backyards too, by creating bee-friendly spaces where we live.

Friends of the Earth have created a Bee Map – zoom in, take a look around and see what people in your area are doing to help bees?
Or become a scientist and download the Bee Count app for free and get involved in counting and recording information about bees.
The site provides lots of information, resources and activities for teachers.

Our Environment Competition

Our Environment Competition has been launched by Scotland’s Environment Web

How Would You Make Our Environment Better?

“Take part in Our Environment Competition. Show us how you would make our environment better and win £1000! ”
The competition is open to young people of school age. It opens on 24th September 2014 and closes on 31st March 2015.

Young people need to:

  • find an environmental problem that you want to fix (or a potential problem you want to prevent)
  • describe the problem and collect data
  • work out what you want to change
  • work out how you are going to make it happen.

Entries should:

  • be ambitious & inspiring;
  • be of a high quality and well presented;
  • engage with other members of  your school or community; and
  • have a legacy potential.

The competition provides an engaging way of involving young people in their local environment and environmental issues.

It enables a focus on investigation and analysing skills.

It allows children to participate in scientific discussions and topical science.

There are four age categories:

  • First level
  • Second Level
  • Third and Fourth Level
  • Senior Phase

Individual or group

You can develop an entry as an individual or as a group.

School or outside of school

  • You can enter as part of a school project (a class, school group or individual)
  • You can enter as part of a group out-with school (e.g. youth club, Scouts, Guides, a group of friends), or as an individual

You can submit your entries from 1st January 2015.  Remember the closing date is 31st March 2015.   If you submit your work by the end of February 2015 you will be eligible for a £100 prize draw.

You should submit your entry by going to the competition website. The website will ask you to fill in a simple form and then upload your application.

There is a £1000 prize for the best group entry from all the age categories, and a £100 prize for the best individual entry, money which you can use to further develop your ideas and make them happen.

In addition, there will be two prizes for each age category, one for the best individual entry and one for the best group entry.

All winners will also be invited to attend a celebration ceremony. Further information can be found on Scotland’s Environment Web.

Higher Sciences Evidence Spreadsheets

Posted on the Sciences Glow 365 site, Higher evidence recording spread sheets for Higher Biology, Higher Chemistry, Higher Environmental Studies, Higher Human Biology and Higher Physics. Similar to the spreadsheets shared to record the evidence for nationals, these are bespoke to each Higher. They can accessed from the Higher folder for each subject. To download, click on the three dots on the right of the title, then click on the second set of three dots and click on download a copy. Many thanks to John Watson of Campbeltown Grammar and to the SQA for their help and support in producing these. For more updates, delivered to your Glow newsfeed, for the subjects and levels you’re interested in click on the hashtags in the newsfeed and click on follow.​