British Science Week: Science Field Trip Year 9

By Year 9

On the 13th March we went on a science field trip to The Danby Lodge Centre, on the North Yorkshire Moors national park. There we learnt about endangered ecosystems and discovered the connections between us and the ecosystem. We learnt what could cause an ecosystem to become extinct.

Once we had arrived and met our guides, we climbed to the first hill and did a field sketch of the landscape. We drew on the forests with indigenous trees. The guide was really kind and explained about the plants and animals that lived in the moors and also different types of trees. Heather that only grows in the moors creates a diverse ecosystem.

Indicator Species

The task I learnt the most from was when we were looking at the cleanliness (levels of pollution) of the river because if I ever need to do that in the future I know how. We were able to tell this by the different insects we found in the water. These insects were indicator species. I learnt that a river is healthy when we find stone fly. I also learnt that dragonfly larvae live for 2 years in the river before they grow wings.

“The task I enjoyed the most was the walk down to the moors and through streams. It was such a scenic route and I loved it” – Sam year 9

Diversity of Plants

We then walked a bit further onto the moorland. We used quadrats (a 50cm square frame) and a penetrometer, a special tool to test the density of the ground. Our experiment was to explore the diversity of the plants in the quadrat. There was a lot of moss with low vegetation on the paths and closer to the woodland a greater diversity. The plants grow in different layers; with moss first then grasses and other plants. Grouse and other birds build their nests on the ground. Dogs need to be kept on leads to prevent them trampling on nests and crushing eggs or chicks. I also learnt that peat holds more carbon than woodland. Moorland is endangered by accidental fires, free dogs, footpath erosion and other threats which are harder to see like climate change, so we learnt how to take care of the ecosystem too.

After we had lunch, we had a go at geocaching and used GPS devices to find items hidden around the area. I think my team worked very well to find the caches, we did everything together and made sure everyone had a go. I enjoyed geocaching as it got us to use our brains to figure out where the caches were.

“I really enjoyed my day, and I would like to thank the whole team at Danby Lodge centre, but I would mainly like to thank Rob, Layla and Jonathan who took us around all day and taught us everything we learnt today” – Anya, year 9

“I mostly enjoyed the view and discovering this environment.” – Lucie, year 9

Thank You Year 11 Science Ambassadors!

A big thank you to the year 11 science ambassadors who joined the trip. They might have been tired by the end of the day, but they did a fantastic job supporting the younger students with their scientific investigations.