Budding boffins focus on waterways

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:02 08/05/2014
River
MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

BUDDING BOFFINS: Carncot Primary School has received the Bayer Primary School Science Fund grant. Pupils Anna Prasitdamrong, Matthew Cao, Andrea Vajatieng and Phoebe MacPherson get involved.

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Manawatu's waterways are set to be scrutinised by a Palmerston North primary school.

Carncot School was one of eight in New Zealand selected for a $2000 boost from the Bayer Primary School Science Fund yesterday.

The grant helps schools complete an environmental science project, with Carncot taking on an ecological study of Manawatu waterways.

Pupils will turn the microscope on rivers, streams and lakes in the area, including the Manawatu River and its tributaries, the Hokowhitu Lagoon and Lake Horowhenua.

They will visit the waterways, take photos, make drawings and record descriptions to document and learn more about the environment.

They'll also take water samples, undertake research on aquatic habitats and hopefully identify the impact of living and non-living elements on each other, principal Christine Michalski says.

"It's taking education outside the classroom and we're so lucky to be situated in a place where we are, so we can do really rigorous environmental studies like this.

"It's a gift doing it in a local context and not just out of a book.

"This will make a difference to the children's scientific knowledge and skills, and it raises awareness in our children about where they live and their own environment, which offshoots into the community."

The grant will be put towards getting microscopes, thermometers, dissecting trays and other tools to support the project.

Bayer managing director Dr Holger Detje said it was a delight to see schools embracing environmental science.

"It's the hands-on use of these tools that can really inspire our younger generation to become scientists in the future."

Royal Society of New Zealand chief executive Dr Di McCarthy said there was a passion evident in schools such as Carncot, with pupils keen to learn more about real-life environmental issues and problems through hands-on scientific investigations.

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- Manawatu Standard

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