Are your learners the scientists of the future?

Plantlife has been awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop ‘Building Resilience in South West Woodlands’, a project that addresses the conservation challenges faced by the South West’s internationally important Atlantic Woodland. Through the Future Scientists Programme, children in primary and secondary schools will be able to develop and take part in ‘citizen science’ activities, to help research and monitor these important habitats. Children will contribute to real scientific research, and help us, and the people that manage these woods, understand more about them and their plants. There will be opportunities for schools and outdoor learning centres to engage at different levels - this could be contributing to one of our woodland surveys, or designing and undertaking individual research projects with support from Plantlife, leading to a presentation of findings at a Future Scientists conference. We want to hear from interested schools and outdoor learning centres in and around the Quantock Hills, Exmoor, Dartmoor, North Devon and Cornwall and appreciate you contributing to this survey.

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* 1. Is your school/centre located near to any areas of woodland?

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* 2. Do you ever use woods for learning?

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* 3. What kind of woodland learning activities do children at your school/centre take part in?

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* 4. How aware are you that the south west’s Atlantic woodlands are a rare habitat full of important lichens, mosses and liverworts?

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* 5. Future Scientists is a citizen science programme. Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research. It enables scientists to collect much more data than would otherwise be possible. This is very important to help us understand environmental challenges, such as impacts of climate change, pollution and habitat loss.

How interested would you be in opportunities that would enable your learners to take part in scientific research that will benefit the woods and those who manage them? Rate your level of interest by giving a rating of 1-5 with 1 being not at all interested and 5 being very interested.

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* 6. What do you see the benefits are of involving children and young people in this kind of activity?

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* 7. The following are all potential outcomes for children taking part in scientific learning activites outdoors. Please rank their level of importance

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* 8. At this moment how confident would you be in taking learners into local woodlands for learning?

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* 9. Which of the following opportunities are you interested in?

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* 10. What barriers are there that might make it difficult for you or your school/centre to participate in the Future Scientists Programme?

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* 11. Which of the following would help you to participate?

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* 12. About your school or outdoor learning centre

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* 13. About you

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* 14. Please check the boxes as appropriate if you would like to hear more about this project or Plantlife's other work.

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