Students from Bayfield and Kings High Schools whave recently presented their Curious Minds research projects from their project ‘What lies beneath’, an investigation into South Dunedin’s changing environment.
Year 10 geography students from both schools have been working with the New Zealand International Science Festival, Otago Regional Council, GNS Science and the University of Otago to learn about the variability of groundwater levels and soil composition beneath their schools.
With funding from the Government’s Curious Mind’s programme, the students have been braving the elements to drill below the ground, study the soil and learn about the history and geology of their surrounding environment.
Two new bores have been drilled, one at each school, which provide real time data on the height, temperature and conductivity of the groundwater beneath the schools. The new bores add to the data collected by Otago Regional Council’s four other bores in South Dunedin.
As part of the project, the students had to put together a presentation about their findings, the best of which where presented at a community presentation in July.
In addition to student presentations, Dr Simon Cox, Principal Scientist at GNS Science spoke about the challenges faced by a city constructed on low-lying, geologically young land.
Dr Cox works in the Natural Hazards Division at GNS Science, Dunedin. In 2010 he was awarded New Zealand’s premier geoscience prize, the MacKay Hammer, for his work in the Southern Alps. Simon has been part of the team behind the ‘What lies beneath’ project.
Overall the night was successful and it engaged the community and helped to celebrate the work of the pupils. We look forward to what steps this project will take in the future!