Cool Seas Investigators (CSI)

What is Cool Seas Investigators (CSI): Beachwatch?

Cool Seas Investigators: Beachwatch is a project that aims to educate children on beach litter in their local environment. It does this by helping to develop environmental awareness as well as develop independent thinking data analysis and group work. 
See the film Cool Seas Investigators - Learning Through Action here. 

Why do CSI BW?

Pollution is becoming a more important environmental issue as every day passes. It is thought that there is approximately 13,000 pieces of plastic per km2 of ocean and this is only rising. This effects beaches worldwide, from the sunny Bali beaches to the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty of Suffolk’s Coasts and Heaths.

Unfortunately, this means that some of it ends up washed up ashore and the only way of removing it is by hand. Another way of getting rid of this litter on the beaches is making sure that the littler doesn’t end up in the oceans to get washed up is through education.

The best way of doing both is by mixing the two activities together and this is exactly what CSI: Beachwatch does. It combines a beach survey (removing litter off a beach), which can be in conjunction with one of the many beach cleans run by the Marine Conservation Society (http://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/) or be done independently at another time. From the beach survey, the participants analyse what type of litter they have found and what they think the main cause of the litter is. From this, in groups, they then devise a potential solution address the cause of the litter.

What will be gained by participating?

Well apart from all the fun of a day out to the beach, the participants will start to develop a range of skills:

  • Team work. As they are part of a team they will share ideas and help each other develop their ideas into a solution to the problem they identify.
  • Presentation skills. They will present their solution in a presentation to either the school or their class so one may be selected for entering the competition of being featured on the MSC online showcase.
  • Data Handling. They will analyse the survey data in order to come up with their problem and solution.
  • Environmental and geographic understanding. They will develop an understanding of why the litter is detrimental to the environment and biodiversity so they can address the problems and solutions they have identified.
  • Interpersonal/professional skills. They will have access to experts in the field.
  • Online and writing skills: A group blog will be set up so success of the learning objectives can be monitored as well as develop the ability to write informatively. The blog can also be used as a way of asking questions to the MCS experts.

As well as all this, it is a fun activity that can be very rewarding and inspire the participants to become more, eco-friendly and environmentally aware.

So what are the key events for participating?

  • The Beach clean survey: This is where the data is collected and a beach of your choice gets a spruce up
  • Workshops: This is where the data is examined and the ideas for the presentations are developed. Both participant and supervisors (ie: teachers) will have online resources and experts in the field made available to them so you can gain as much out of the project as you wish.
  • Presentations: Each group presents there identified problem and solution with the best one from your groups gets submitted for an MSC online showcase which is reviewed by a panel of MSC experts.

See the film Cool Seas Investigators - Learning Through Action here! 

So why wait, sign up today... Contact Ben Rigby brigbya@essex.ac.uk or call 07722 503372.


 

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