Back to School with the Seabed

02 September 2021  /  By Loveday Trinick, ReMEDIES Education Officer

Loveday Trinick, Education Officer

Loveday Trinick. credit Ocean Conservation Trust

Raising awareness of the importance of seabed habitats is a vital part of the ReMEDIES project. We want to reach people who enjoy the water in boats, on foot and as a source of food and livelihoods. We’re also involving schoolchildren…

 

 

With schools returning from the summer break in a slightly more normal way than we have seen for some time, we are really looking forward to getting back in the classroom. The ReMEDIES school programme aims to engage students within the locations that we’re working in, as well as further afield. We focus our topics around seabed habitats, the engineering behind Advanced Mooring Systems, and in literacy and communication skills. Each project sees students engaging in one of these topics.

Seagrass seeds. Photo credit Ocean Conservation Trust

It can lead to some amazing results, as our recent project with Goosewell Primary Academy in Plymouth shows. Over the course of a month, Goosewell pupils grew their own seagrass plants in the classroom. This ambitious project started with the children learning about seagrass and other seabed habitats. They moved on to think about what plants need to grow. Finally, they planted their seagrass seeds. This planting is carried out carefully by the children and placed in seawater tanks. Alongside the seagrass, we also planted cress, poppies and other land plants.

Year 1 children of Goosewell Primary proud of their seagrass seedling. Photo credit Goosewell Primary School

Left with their freshly planted seagrass seeds, cress and poppies, the children took full control of caring for and maintaining them. This meant weekly water changes, cleaning and even a little bit of singing! After a few weeks, the children started to see the beginnings of a plant. This continued to grow, until they had a little seagrass seedling. This achievement is remarkable as it is thought to be the first-time children have ever grown a seagrass plant in a classroom.

The seeds used in this work with schools are collected from healthy seagrass meadows as part of the ReMEDIES seagrass restoration project, led by the Ocean Conservation Trust. While most seeds end up back on the seabed in our specially selected restoration sites, others will be used to inspire school children like those in year one of Goosewell Primary Academy.

 

If you think your school or your children’s school might be interested in getting involved, please take a look at our Teachers page here.

 

Solent_seagrass. Image: Project Baseline UK