Observing of seasonal change of river riparian vegetation and microclimate of river valleys

Another initiative proposed within the BRITEC project is Observing of seasonal change of river riparian vegetation and microclimate of river valleys. This topic will be implemented in selected schools from October 2019. To participate in this initiative, we especially invite schools that are located near the river, or those that will be able to get there.

The aim of this initiative is to learn how seasons affect the river vegetation and microclimate river conditions and to monitor the changes. The project will show how commonly used electronic devices may provide valuable information about the environment. Students will have a chance to be involved in the gathering and analyzing the scientific data. Students will be involved in the monitoring of riverbank vegetation and meteorological conditions in different specific locations. They will provide data for further scientific analysis of seasonal changes of the vegetation and microclimate river conditions for a different type of the rivers. Students will be taking photographs as well as simple meteorological measurements. The frequency of observation will depend on hydrological conditions of the specific place of observation. However, the minimum per month is recommended, and should not be less than once per season.

Narew River, photo by A. Bielonko

UV radiation and Vitamin D3

Scientists from Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences propose studies on Vitamin D3 gain thanks to ultraviolet radiation, as an idea of pilot of Citizen Science actions to be run at Schools from October, 2019.

If you would like to know whether it is possible to gain adequate dose of vitamin D3 thantks to UV radiation during the time spend outdoors, for example during field trips with your pupils, you definitely should consider taking part in this initiative!

The idea is to let pupils measure UV radiation and calculate vitamin D3 doses gain, using formulas provided by scientists. Pupils can also calculate the risk of sunburn and determine ‘safe’ duration of sun-tanning, taking into account their individual skin phototype. The research will rely on UV measurements and observation of skin area exposed to sun (depending on clothing). UV meters will be provided and pupils will be properly trained beforehand. The measurements can be taken during field campaigns, e.g. field trip with class, from 10 am to 2 pm.

The output can be very useful for outdoors activities, participants can gain valuable information about positive and negative effects of sun-tanning.

Stay tuned for more information!

Composition of two photos: one taken with the ultraviolet camera and the second one in the visible light, where you can see changes caused by the Sun (photoaging).


SDW19 banner

STEM Discovery Week 2019 is a joint international initiative that invites projects, organisations and schools across Europe and around the world, to celebrate careers and studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The tagline for this year’s campaign is “best practices in using innovative STEM resources”. The primary focus of this year’s campaign, is to showcase how teaching materials and other learning resources are used in educational activities.

Interested to become a partner?

By committing to the STEM Discovery Week 2019, the partners agree to:

  • Organise and share information about activities or actions in STEM education as part of the STEM Discovery Week campaign.
  • Encourage third parties to support and join the initiative by organising STEM activities or actions of their own and share information about them as part of the STEM Discovery Week campaign.
  • Publish on their web page informationin support of the STEM Discovery Week campaign, hence facilitating an active exchange of information among projects, organisations and schools.

For more information on the registration steps that potential partners need to follow, please consult this document here.

Are you organising a STEM activity around April 2019?

Include it on the map! Participants organising STEM activities and actions from 1 February to 30 April 2019 may also enter the STEM Discovery Week competitions. Visit the competitions’ section on the Scientix online portal for more information here.

STEM Discovery Week activities’ map

Kick-off meeting in Warsaw, Poland

BRITEC Project officially started!

The first meeting of a new European project coordinated by the Institute of Geophysics PAS was held on November 26, 2018 at IG PAS headquarters. Represenatives of 5 partner institutions from Belgium, Greece, Spain and Poland gathered to discuss crucial issues regarding project management and implementation.

The BRITEC project proposes introducing research into classrooms through Citizen Science activities, co-designed between schools and research institutions, initially in the partner countries and with the long-term view of massive uptake in Europe and beyond.

Citizen Science is a relatively new way of conducting scientific research, by enlisting the support of ordinary citizens into the collection and interpretation of large amounts of data. BRITEC proposes introducing the Citizen Science (CS) approach in schools as a way of bringing research into the classroom.

The project will build a community of schools and researchers which will co-design and pilot a set of citizen science activities in schools and feed their results into the development of a toolkit for teachers for successfully bringing research into the classroom and a Massive Open Online Course which will put particular emphasis on contextualizing STEM teaching by engaging pupils in CS activities.

Stay tuned!

BRITEC Team, photo: A. Wielgopolan