Another great CREST awards fieldtrip!

Amy Constantine

Another glorious day for another successful fieldtrip with Falkland Islands Community School (FICS) Year 7 science students!

Friday November 11th saw Amy Constantine, Dr Jesse van Der Grient, Dr Al Baylis, PhD students Katy Ross and Amy Guest along with assistance from Glenn Welch, Falklands Conservation, head back to Surf Bay’s Sandy shore and Hookers Point rocky shores.

The students are working toward their Bronze CREST Awards for science. CREST Awards is a scheme that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers, and the Bronze Award introduces students to project work. The project process develops enquiry, problem-solving and communication skills.
To help them gain this award, the aim of the day was to assess the biodiversity of different marine habitats by comparing rocky shores with sandy shores: placing quadrats along transects and looking at species richness and abundance in each quadrat.
We started at surf bay, and the students soon got familiar with setting up their quadrats and got ‘stuck’ in right away.
Amy Guest and Jesse giving introduction and demonstration of how to set up a quadrat
Students on the beach getting into their quadrat
Students with Jesse and Al lending a hand with identification
Left: Top and middle – Dog ear Tunicates  (Polyzoa sp.), bottom dead man’s finger (Codium fragile).

Right: Kelp holdfast
While there were lots to be found on the sandy shores, once we headed out to the rocky shores of Hookers Point, and after a quick demonstration by Amy G and Jesse again, excitement soon started to build once the students laid their quadrats and realised there were lots of star fish and crabs to be found!
Reached the Rocky shores with another quick briefing of using the transects and what we will be doing on the rocky shore
Left: First  quadrats down and havign a quick look before divign in to see what can be found

Right: Dr Al Baylis helping to identify species
Once the excitement wore off and more and more starfish, crabs and other interesting species were found, the students got back on track. Before we knew it, our time was up and we had to start packing up and head back. There were a lot of ‘arrrh’‘s and ‘just a bit longer’ comments so I think it’s safe to say the afternoon was once again well enjoyed.

Ty, aged 11 ‘’ Thank you to SAERI for helping us. I enjoyed it’’.

Mikey aged 11 ‘’ Thank you , you were very patient and encouraging’’.

Oliver aged 12 ‘’ Thank you for the opportunity of seeing these creatures. I don’t like Starfish.’’

Ben aged 11 ‘’It was fun’’

Brody aged 11 ‘’ When I saw the Isopods, I got scared.’’

Amelia aged 11 ‘’ It was a nice experience, thank you.’’

Sophie aged 11 ‘’ We saw lots of Starfish.’’
Left:  Humped  rock cod (Patagonotothen sima), and some sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca)
Right: Common sea star (Anasterias antartica) with fighting crab (Acanthocyclus albatrossis)
Left: Shades of green – in this image you can see dead man’s finger (Codium fragile) , iridescent algae (Iridaea sp.) , sea lettuce ( Ulva lacttuca) and fur algae ( Desmarestia dsistans)

Right:  A Hairy Chiton (Plaxiphora aurata)

Now back in school it’s time for the students to get to the nitty gritty and analyse their data collected!

A huge thanks to the SAERI team and Glenn Welch from Falklands Conservation for lending their time and expertise; Leader of Science, Liam Ledger for co-ordinating and to all the teachers involved on the day. It is such a great initiative and we can’t wait to head back next year with the New Year 7’s!

‘’Without the support and expertise of SAERI, the field trip to surf bay to compare the biodiversity of rocky shore to sandy shore would not be as successful as it is. Student and staff enjoy the day each year. It is a fabulous way of involving scientific research for the CREST award bronze while showcasing some of the little beasties of the Falkland Islands in their habitat. It is also a fantastic way of showcasing the potential of science in the islands to our youngsters.’’ Liam Ledger – Leader of Science at FICS
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