Whats happened in January

10 02 2013

The New Year at Orielton starts with some exciting developments. Joe has been busy introducing a new project to the centre, a Wildlife Watch group. This is a nationwide initiative where Wildlife Watch (the leading environmental action club for kids) aims to introduce people to their environments, to teach them how to protect and conserve it, but also just as importantly how to engage with and enjoy it.
Our local area has so much to offer! With high levels of diversity, spectacular habitats and species unique to the Pembrokeshire coast, our goal is to lead groups of local youths and parents to explore and understand these environments on the last Saturday of every month. We hope to launch this programme in late February, leading groups through our extensive woodland, our freshwater sites and on rocky shore days, taking advantage of Pembrokeshire’s famous coastline.
Watch here for updates or visit http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk for more details.
With the upgrading of our project files for A-level groups, our handyman Rich has worked tirelessly to design and craft some new folder holding boxes, being both sturdier and more pleasing to the eye, we can’t wait to get these into the classroom!!
The 23rd January was a day for the ladies of the centre to enjoy, as we had the fire brigade turn up to deliver our fire safety training, with an excuse to let off fire extinguishers and soup & sandwiches to look forward to at lunch, it was a welcome reprieve from the usual January routine of cleaning and painting the centre in preparation for the new season.
Sarah is involved with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) again this month with a visit to Lamphey to help guide the local Cub group through some Astrology.
We Congratulate Milly on passing her minibus driving test earlier this month and wish luck to Sarah as she undertakes her Walking Group Leader award assessment at the end of the month.
New Actions for 2013Milly passes Minibus test
Orielton staff are involved with the BioBlitz event taking place at Stackpole in May, a 24 hour data collection which is designed for field experts and the public to collaborate and survey a variety of habitats. Our team will be leading aspects of the course, as we aim to increase our involvement with the community.
For more information on the BioBlitz vist: http://www.bnhc.org.uk/home/bioblitz/
we look forward to seeing you there.
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Field Studies Council, FSC Dale Fort are hosting two Marine Biology based events this year, in March they have organised a Marine Education Workshop, with field techniques being demonstrated, explained and discussed; and in April are providing a Marine Research Symposium, with talks being delivered on the multitude of marine life that can be found in British coastal habitats.
In honour of the same celebration, as well as the 50th anniversary of the opening of Orielton House as a Field Studies Centre, FSC Orielton are holding a garden party in August and inviting local school groups for a day of environmental science fun in the sun!

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STEM networking to inspire the next generation!

6 02 2013

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As part of the FSC’s commitment to “bringing environmental understanding to all” tutors have now signed up to be STEM ambassadors! The STEM network (www.stemnet.org.uk) is designed to create opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. For us, this involves visiting local schools, groups and clubs to help run activities in these areas. Teachers and group leaders etc can get in touch with the STEM network to ask for ambassadors to help them at any time, and in the majority of cases, there is an ambassador out there willing to help!

Last year I visited Ysgol Bro Gwaun on one of their careers days to talk about science in the work place where I ran an activity looking at transferring energy through the ecosystem. We saw how much energy is lost as it is transferred and talked about ways to minimise this. We also discussed how this will affect our lives and food choices in the coming years, especially with the population teetering around 7 billion.

I have also recently been involved in helping the Narberth brownies and Lamphey cubs attain their astronomy badge. I’ve joined Mark Smith, a local theoretical physicist to help give them an understanding of the universe and do a spot of star gazing (when we are lucky enough to have clear skies!). After all, who could fail to be inspired by our incredible universe?!

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(appalachianviews.photoshelter.com)

So if you are a teacher/group leader and are keen to promote these subjects to your students, get in touch with the STEM network and see who is out there to help!