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Summer Science Exhibition 2008

Nutrients down the Mersey: Are we over-fertilising the Irish Sea?









The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Childwall School, Liverpool; Proudman Oceonographic Laboratory; Natural Environment Research Council

Teenagers studying science at Childwall School, Liverpool, are working with the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), to gather data on oxygen levels in the Irish Sea. In partnership with the Royal Society, the school has invested in its own monitoring equipment that has been cited in Liverpool Bay, providing ongoing data for analysis as part of GCSE coursework.

‘Exposing students to the real world of scientific research has benefits in terms of their career aspirations but also more generally in improving scientific literacy creating so called citizen scientists,’ suggests Mike McAteer, Information Communication Technology Co-ordinator at Childwall.

POL has been carrying out research in Liverpool bay using a research vessel, The RV Prince Madog, due to concerns that sewerage treatment in the UK is inadaquate. ‘Sewerage increases the levels of nutrients in the sea, algae and plankton proliferate, and reduce the available oxygen for fish and other sea life, a process known as eutrophication,’ explains Mike.

The project will take place over four months and involves 35 pupils who will visit the research vessels that place monitoring equipment out at sea and also POL to meet with scientists and see how they utilise and assess the data they collect.

Nutrients down the Mersey: Are we over-fertilising the Irish Sea?

Nutrients down the Mersey: Are we over-fertilising the Irish Sea?" - an exhibit at the 2007 Summer Science Exhibition by exhibitors from Childwall School, Proudman Oceanographic Labatories, University of Liverpool

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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