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Secondary projects

The case studies below are a selection of secondary projects that have been funded through the Partnership Grants scheme. You can find more secondary case studies focusing on climate and biodiversity issues featured on our Tomorrow’s climate scientists case studies page. If you have any questions about the projects below, please get in touch.

 

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How do we promote physical activity in girls? A research project with girls, for girls and by girls 
Can bee metrics be used to predict colony health?
What are the factors that affect pollution levels in and around the school grounds?
Which species do we share our neighbourhood with?
Can we measure how surface runoff from heavy rainfall events can be slowed down using a SUDS model?
Can a school contribute effectively to open source pharma via the synthesis of novel drug analogues?
Computer science - virtually engaging?

How do we promote physical activity in girls? A research project with girls, for girls and by girls

Research demonstrates that throughout schooling the percentage of girls that ‘love’ or ‘like’ PE decreases, and by secondary school 23% of girls do not participate in any physical activity outside school (Youth Sport Trust, 2019). Students at Holly Lodge Girls’ College, in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University, are investigating whether working with girls to identify, negotiate and overcome barriers to their physical activity participation will better facilitate girls’ engagement in PE. By analysing data and fitness field tests, students will examine the relationship between physical fitness and health. They will then gather data on current engagement and barriers to participation, using this to inform the design and evaluation of an intervention to increase activity.

Find out more about this project via this article in Educate magazine.

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Can bee metrics be used to predict colony health?

After a successful project in 2019 looking at the parasite burden on the school bee colonies, students at Kelso High School are working with a STEM partner from The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh to look at whether bee metrics can be used to determine the health of a colony. Honeybee husbandry has been widely practiced for centuries. However, besides obvious disease symptoms, determining a bee colony health status can be difficult. This new project from 2021 onwards will enable students to develop skills and knowledge in microscopy, disease identification and PCR/genetic testing as a way of monitoring bee health. This project is part of a collaborative project being run with two additional schools: Annan Academy and St Ninians High School.

Find out more about the original project in 2019 via the video below.

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What are the factors that affect pollution levels in and around the school grounds?

Investigating what indicators are relevant to measure pollution levels around the school grounds, students from Morgan Academy have analysed data from public agencies and others in the local area to help design and build monitoring stations. Working with the University of Dundee, these stations have been placed around the school grounds and data collected to build a picture of pollution in the local area.

Find out more about this project by watching a video they created.

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Which species do we share our neighbourhood with?

Durham County Council’s Education Health Needs team have been working with a STEM partner from Durham University to support students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to investigate the wildlife in their local area. Camera traps have been used to record and discover the range of species in differing neighbourhoods; from diverse habitats such as urban, coastal and woodland areas. Students were able to work on the project even when having to study from home, discovering a variety of wildlife in their local area they did not know existed.

Find out more about this project by reading this blog post written by the lead teacher.
You can also read this local news article.

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Can we measure how surface runoff from heavy rainfall events can be slowed down using a SUDS model?

Student from Corbridge Middle School have extended their original project, looking at data from a school-based digital weather station to see if they could detect evidence of climate change, to investigate the impact of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) on surface runoff. Working with their STEM Partner at Newcastle University the students are exploring what adaptations can be made to housing to reduce rapid rain runoff. This is particularly relevant for the school based in the North East as the area is particularly prone to flood events which are getting worse as a result of climate change and heavier rainfall.

Find out more about the original grant project by reading the scientific poster they produced for the Royal Society student conference (PDF)
You can also read this local news article.

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Can a school contribute effectively to open source pharma via the synthesis of novel drug analogues?

“Mycetoma is a subcutaneous fungal disease, on the WHO’s list of Neglected Tropical Diseases. It is currently incurable, so amputation is often the only choice in poorer countries; however, this causes physical disabilities for people whose lives depend upon physical labour. Throughout the course of the project, students...look to contribute to the open source research to synthesise a new molecule that will aid cure efforts. The precursor molecule ((4-chloro-2-fluorophenyl)(pyridin-3-yl) methanol), provided by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, will be reacted with thionyl chloride to convert it from an alcohol to a chloride. We then plan to react the chloride with a range of amines, previously synthesised in the laboratory, hoping to make entirely new molecules which can be characterised and tested for action against eumycetoma. The real-time collaborative nature of this novel approach to drug design enables progress to be made towards creating medicines with no traditional market.”

Find out more about this project by reading the scientific poster they produced for the Royal Society student conference (PDF).

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Computer science - virtually engaging?

“We are Year 12 computer science students and our project is to look at ways of engaging more students in the subject of computer science. We have created a virtual reality (VR) app, which allows students to enter a virtual computer and interact with the components inside. The aims of our project were to design and build an app for use with the Oculus Rift Headset that will show students how changing components in a computer can affect the way it works, to test the effectiveness of VR as a teaching tool in the classroom and to analyse students’ engagement with computer science before and after experiencing the VR app. We built the app using Unity and C#, with graphics created in Blender software. We used surveys to collect data from the test students. Our results showed that 100% of students found the virtual computer environment a more engaging method of learning.”

Find out more about this project by reading the scientific poster they produced for the Royal Society student conference (PDF).

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