5th and 6th class enjoyed a very educational trip to Ballycrystal on Monday 24th April where they took part in Citizen Science activities including kick-sampling, photo posts, the Litterbug app, and the CrowdWater app.

A team from UCD guided the pupils as they examined the landscape and how it can change over time-this can be recorded using Photo Posts. They identified the three main rock types found in the Blackstairs area-Granite, Slate and Schist.

Taking kick samples from the local River Urrin, the pupils found “good insects” in the form of the Stonefly, the Mayfly and the Caddisfly which means that the water is very clean. Thankfully no “bad insects” in the form of Snails, Leeches or Waterlouse were found as these would indicate that the water is dirty and polluted.

They used the Litterbug App- an app used to record pollution in the environment, allowing for litter hotspots to be identified.

The pupils completed the Nature Bingo Worksheets throughout the morning identifying all the local flora, fauna and rock types along their journey.

We hope the pupils take the local knowledge gained and share it with family and friends now and in the future. Keep an eye out for photo posts/information posts which will be popping up around the local area in the near future as part of the overall programme being run.

We are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this programme. This trip was organised and funded by the CUPHAT Programme including the cost of bus hire