Primary schools ‘spring’ into action for Greenwave 2014

Primroses, captured by Scoil Naisiunta Baile Mhic Adaim, Co. Kildare as part of Greenwave 2013. Source: Greenwave.ie

National project tracks changing of the season

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18 February 2014 | 0

Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme is calling on primary schools nationwide to help them track the arrival of Spring by getting involved in Greenwave 2014. This citizen science project, which sees students log their sightings of six Greenwave species by uploading images to the greenwave.ie website, is one of the five criteria necessary to achieve a Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) Award of Science and Maths Excellence.

Between February and May, students are asked to capture their sightings of six species: frog, swallow, horse-chestnut, primrose, hawthorn and ash, in addition to making at least one weather observation by measuring and recording wind speed, rainfall or temperature. The results are then logged on the Greenwave website in order to monitor and map the arrival of spring.

Last year, 554 Irish primary schools took part in the Greenwave project, submitting a total of 1,600 official records of common species and 8,600 weather observations. This year as part of the Greenwave First in Frame photography competition, six schools will be recognised for best images of the Greenwave species and will win a digital camera for their efforts.

Speaking at the launch of Greenwave 2014, Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock said: “The Greenwave initiative creates an opportunity for children to engage with science in an interesting, fun and hands-on way. Educating children in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths is vital if we are to progress and maintain sustainable growth of Ireland’s economy.”

Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government Prof Mark Ferguson said: “The Greenwave project encourages children to use fundamental science and maths skills such as observing, measuring and recording. Through their involvement in this national project, primary school pupils are gaining an appreciation of the fundamental importance of science and maths in our everyday lives. In addition, they are also getting a head start in completing one of the steps involved in the DPSM Awards of Science and Maths Excellence.”

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