Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Big Bang Stem Science Event

I took part again this year in the Big Bang Stem Science Event at South of England Show Grounds. I took a display that looked at how Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve is connected to the global ocean system and how Shoreham Beach may be impacted by climate change, sea level rise and other global issues. Friends of Shoreham Beach member Jacky Woolcock, helped at the event again this year.

Science is making a great come back in the South East and attendees this year reached 7000 pupils and teachers. The display looked at how our marine character Ed the Bear (based at Shoreham) has been visiting ‘real’ scientists around the world to find out how we benefit from the oceans, which includes our climate and weather, 50% of our oxygen, freshwater, food, new medicines, wellbeing and much more.


The display included some science experiments. An experiment demonstrated how the thermohaline circulation helps to control our climate and weather. Another focused on thermal expansion – how climate change is warming the ocean which causes it to expand contributing to sea level rise.

We also demonstrated how an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is making the ocean more acidic threatening corals and shellfish. We also had an activity to help demonstrate the problem of micro plastics in the ocean.

The display is all about how we are part of the global ocean and how global issues might impact our beach at Shoreham.

You can find out more about this event at Big Bang Stem Science and more about Adventures of Ed the Bear at One World One Ocean Adventures of Ed the Bear

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sussex Marine Education Conference for Teachers

I was the lead in a Marine Day Conference for teachers today, which took place on the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve to inspire teachers about our amazing coast and how they can implement marine studies into the school curriculum.

The conference was attended by teachers from 19 local schools and was based on two sites, Adur Outdoor Activity Centre for the inside sessions and Shoreham Beach LNR for the beach workshops.

Armed with ID guides the teachers searched for clues as to how these plants not only survive in this inhospitable environment but actually thrive. The teachers also explored the vegetation looking for invertebrates, birds and lizards that also visit the shingle habitat.teacher montage
The delegates explored the tide pools and discovered a variety of marine creatures from crabs and shrimps to cockles and sea anemones.

A workshop also examined the pebbles and the dynamic coastal processes that formed and continue to shape Shoreham Beach. At the same time the teachers collected strandline objects which they examined back in the centre including crab shells, cuttlefish bone, ray egg cases, whelk eggs and even cuttlefish eggs.

They discovered how these objects and even the beach pebbles have a fascinating story to tell.
Not all local schools can actually visit the beach so the afternoon workshops also demonstrated the use of simple USB equipment used in our programme, demonstrating live marine creatures in schools using USB microscope devices. This session also looked at marine myths and folklore and marine conservation issues.

The conference was run in partnership with South East Grid for Learning Associates and supported by Friends of Shoreham Beach, who kindly sponsored the room hire. The event was a great success; the feedback from the South East Grid for Learning Associates evaluation forms all listed the quality and usefulness of the sessions and support materials as either good or outstanding. It is hoped that the conference will become an annual event.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Seal spotted at Hove

A seal was seen from Hove prom heading east towards Brighton at 8.00am. At one point the seal surfaced with a fish.