This week is Clean Coasts Week, a Keep Wales Tidy initiative sponsored by McDonalds so we took a group of students from MITEC at Pembrokeshire College to clean up West Dale.
The team from MITEC collected over 6 bag fulls of rubbish which were mostly filled with plastic bottles tops and fishing rope/nets. Check out the website for Keep Wales Tidy to find out about beach cleans near you.
A team of select pupils from Ysgol Dewi Sant spent the morning at Pembrokeshire College where they took part in a series of activities led by Tim Brew – Energy in Education. The pupils then split into small groups and were given the task of designing blades for a wind turbine. A competition took place to see which turbine design produced the most volts.
Pupils spent the afternoon with Chris an engineer from Infinergy who took them inside a wind turbine called Spinny. Ysgol Dewi Sant will return to Pembrokeshire College in the summer term with Pembroke and Fishguard school to take part in a challenge which will earn them a CREST Award.
Pupils from Goodwick school had a busy day on Tuesday. The morning was spent at Celtic Camping where pupils went on a tractor and trailer tour of the farm followed by pond dipping sessions.
In the afternoon we headed to Oriel y Parc in St Davids where the pupils took part in an art workshop linked to the things they had seen whilst at Celtic Camping. They took their art work back to school to add the finishing touches and create a wall display.
We spent the day at Manor House Wildlife Park with pupils from Redhill Preparatory School. Amy, one of the zookeepers showed us around the site and answered all of our questions. The pupils and the pygmy goats were loving the sunshine. We finished the day with a mini beast hunt and tested the pupils knowledge with a game of true or false.
The Darwin Centre has teamed up with Tom from the Field Studies Centre to deliver a selection of workshops to a Professional Learning Community consisting of Sir Thomas Picton, Ysgol Dewi Sant and Olchfa school from Swansea.
Marten was invited to Cardiff University to speak at their engagement event. His talk was entitled ‘STEM engagement at grass roots: Inviting Post Graduate students to energise engagement in Wales.’ The aim of this was to encourage PhD students to get involved with engaging the public in science and their research projects.
We took pupils from the referral unit in Neyland down to Lydstep Haven for some rock pooling last week. We were lucky enough to find an octopus!! Eledone cirrhosa is commonly known as the curled octopus. Its body can grow up to 50cms in length with a maximum arm spread of 70cms! It has been recorded around all British and Irish coasts.
The pupils found so many crabs! One species included Xantho pilipes which is pictured above on the left. This crab has brown tipped chelae and fringes of hair on its walking legs.
Year 4 from Tavernspite are currently studying habitats, they came with us to Colby Woodland Gardens – a National Trust site. The pupils carried out some kick sampling and pond dipping to learn about all of the freshwater organisms that live at Colby. The pupils found a couple of Palmate newts (Lissotriton helvetica), they were all keen to have a hold.
Whilst pond dipping we came across several Common toads (Bufo bufo) who were missing their lower halves. Otters have been spotted using the rivers and ponds at Colby and they like to eat amphibians. Toads have glands just behind thier eyes which are called paratoid glands. These glands produce a toxin which puts off predators that want to eat the toad. However Otter’s will avoid these glands by skinning the toad and by just eating the legs!
Marten followed up the field trip with a workshop on the water cycle, pollution and rivers.
Pupils from years 5 & 6 spent the day with us and the team from the National Trust at Stackpole. The pupils looked for Pike in the lakes and spotted several birds from the hide. After snacks we went to Broad Haven South. The class spent half of the day doing beach activities such as the limpet game and sound maps. Then they spent the other half of the day in Mere Pool Valley, pond dipping in the dune slacks.