29 June 2021

Results of ASP’s Schools Clean Air Monitoring Project in Abingdon (SCAMPA) have been presented at the British Ecological Society’s annual Young Nature Conference and at the Royal Meteorological Society’s Student and Early Career Researcher Conference, both run remotely this year. ASP Coordinator, Jeremy Thomas, was invited to present a lightning talk about SCAMPA at Young Nature in a session on educational projects alongside The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Beaulieu Convent School, Jersey, who have been investigating genetic variation in daffodils. There were many questions from interested scientists and ecologists on how to set up similar projects with schools through partnership networks.

SCAMPA was also represented at a virtual poster session at the Royal Met Soc’s conference, with recent OA Jake Wallis in remote attendance to answer questions. Jake found this a very worthwhile experience especially given that the participants were mainly Ph.D. students and early career researchers, with no other attendees below undergraduate level. Jake’s main observation on conversations that he had was, ‘People seemed impressed at the initiative as a whole, and liked the idea of a school helping other schools teach about the environment.’

There are now plans to continue with SCAMPA for a second year. Pupils at the 11 schools involved have enjoyed being engaged in a genuine scientific investigation and the data collected in the first year has shown some interesting patterns for them to investigate further. The second year project has already been partly funded through an award from DPD UK’s Community Responsibility Fund and other sources of funding are currently being sought.

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