Children getting science experience

CHILDREN at a Suffolk school are getting hands on science experience with state-of-the-art weather technology - thanks to a special grant.Orford Primary School, near Woodbridge, has received funding worth £2,244 from the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science.

CHILDREN at a Suffolk school are getting hands on science experience with state-of-the-art weather technology - thanks to a special grant.

Orford Primary School, near Woodbridge, has received funding worth £2,244 from the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science.

The school has linked up with the May Howard Elementary School near Savannah, Georgia, USA, for a science project on global warming and climate change, which allows children from both schools to compare and analyse east coast estuary weather 4,000 miles apart.

The cash from the Royal Society has bought a Davis Pro state-of-the-art weather station, located on the school's roof, which streams data by radio link onto a large screen in a Year 6 classroom.

This data gives maximum and minimum temperatures, wind chill, humidity, and much more and appears live on the school's website.

Pupils at the May Howard School have exactly the same weather station and both schools will work together on the results.

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Orford Headteacher Ken Marrable said: “The idea came to me when I was travelling round the southern states of America last August.

“I was first struck by the remarkable similarity between the Savannah River Estuary and Orford Ness with the River Alde and Ore. Then when hurricanes Rita and Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico it seemed an opportune time for children to join together to have a first hand look at the effects of climate and how it will shape their environment in the future.

“The project needed a ready access to wildlife and we, like May Howard Elementary, have a wide range on our doorstep. The difference is our wildlife comprises of crabs and muntjacs whilst they are more likely to see manatee and alligators.”

The science project will also compare information on the frequency of moths in the area and the feeding habits of some of Suffolk's best-loved but depleted bird species.

The remainder of the grant is being spent on a scientific moth trap, two bird boxes containing radio linked colour video cameras and a digital camera to record the project.

Orford Primary School is interested in schools who would like to join the i-dec project. For more information call 01394 450281.

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