This new Public Engagement project is brought to you from the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council. We aim to introduce school children in the Western Scottish Isles to the hidden sea beasts just off their coast.
Seabeasties is designed for P6-7, and will involve pupils (or teachers) catching the beasts with home-made plankton nets and viewing them through smartphone microscopes provided in a ‘citizen science kit’. The kits will be supplied free to 50 primary schools across the Western Isles, on a first come first serve basis. Kits will include smartphone microscopes, ID guides and materials for making your own plankton net, with educational resources provided online.
This activity offers pupils the chance to learn more about how scientists make discoveries, with the data collected across the Islands by different schools providing the first evidence of what kind of beasts live off each island. Over 100 high schools have used the smartphone microscope kits, with teacher feedback showing they are becoming an integral part of teaching biology.
There will also be prizes awarded to the pupil and school that submits the best SeaBeast image.
If you are interested in taking part in SeaBeasties, or wish to learn more, please contact us at Seabeasts@ed.ac.uk