22 November 2019

The Abingdon Science Partnership’s Royal Society Partnership Grant project was presented at the annual student conference by a combined team from Abingdon and Fitzharrys Schools. Accompanied by our research partner, Tanesha Allen of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, the students spent the day engaging with other students, presenting their project formally and explaining it to distinguished visitors, including many Fellows of the Royal Society.

As the only field biology project at the conference this year, the ASP project proved very popular. Many visitors were intrigued by the preliminary findings that the European badgers studied at Science Oxford’s Stansfeld Park site may respond differently to human scent than to other badgers or domestic animals. This has been shown through differences in length of time spent in foraging activities recorded by the wildlife camera traps deployed around Tanesha’s experimental site by pupils from Caldecott and Thomas Reade Primary Schools last May.

The student conference was also an opportunity to find out about the many amazing research projects going on in other schools, including everything from constructing wind turbines from scrap materials in refugee camps to investigating the properties of bio-polymers as alternatives to oil based plastics. With key note lectures by adolescent brain expert Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and polymer physicist Professor Thomas Macleish, the students had an amazing, but richly deserved experience and were a credit to both their schools.

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