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Lamlash Primary School, Arran (North Ayrshire)

Project: Lamlash Plastic Warriors

The pupils of Lamlash Primary have been learning about climate change through interdisciplinary learning and recognise the importance of litter and particularly plastic pollution.  As an island school, we are very aware of the issues of litter reaching the marine environment and the impacts that can have. The classes watched the workshops from Keep Scotland Beautiful and Jacobs Engineering about the STEM the Flow competition.

The pupils considered where litter may come from to get to the marine environment.  There is a park and woodland close to the school and sea where we have previously undertaken litter picks.  Two pupils in the class had done volunteering in the summer holidays and picked up two bags of litter from a small area in the local woodland.

The classes visited the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) discovery centre to learn about the issues of plastic entering the marine environment. They were tasked with considering how long some items take to decompose and talk about the impacts on marine life.

Scientific poster

Investigation and Research

The teams worked really well together with everyone involved.  Primary 5/6 had other school commitments, so didn’t produce a final poster that left four designs from Primary 6/7 with each team producing a scientific poster.  The teams worked together to create the design and then write up their posters.  All of the designs considered avoiding catching marine life however this would mean some smaller elements of plastic may not be picked up.  The designs were tested in water with plastic ducks.

As Primary 5/6 didn’t produce a final design they were the judges for the four completed designs looking at the actual model device and poster prepared by the Primary 6/7 children to select our winner.  They knew what the project was about and read the different scientific posters as well as examining the models.

The children also learned about the design process in the workshop led by Jacobs engineer and built bridges to develop knowledge or having to work through a problem and develop a solution to solve it.  We tested the bridges and found they were easily taking a 100g weight and tried with heavier weights and the bridges could easily hold 1kg.

Some of the metaskills that the children have identified that they used in the project were collaborating, critical thinking, initiative, leading, communicating, adapting and creativity along with sense making.

They have deepened their understanding about sustainability and the Sustainability Committee in the school are taking forward plastic pollution as one of their actions, no doubt influenced by this project.

Judging

Judging

Winning design

 The Sustainability Committee in the school is taking forward plastic pollution as one of their actions to address, no doubt influenced by this project.

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