Schoolchildren in Stirlingshire will be given the chance to collect valuable rainfall data for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
After signing up to help the agency capture rainfall data, Pupils at Bridge of Allan Primary School are now encouraging others across Scotland to join in the efforts.
Every day at around 9am the volunteer rainfall observers will collect data and submit the information online. The aim of this is to provide detailed information in addition to data gathered by 300 gauges located throughout the country – from this, SEPA and the Met Office can analyse Scotland’s complex rainfall patterns.
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The data collected by volunteers and gauges helps the agency make informed decisions on water management, flood risk management and long-term climate research. Rainfall data also helps to inform industry, agriculture and infrastructure development.
Grant Kennedy, senior specialist scientists in hydrology at SEPA said volunteers play an important role in rainfall observation and urged people from across Scotland to follow the example of the pupils.
“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and this is a great opportunity for any budding citizen scientist to get involved and make a valued contribution to our data research,” he said. “The data collected from rainfall observing contributes to our work around flood risk management, so volunteers are playing an important role in that process.”
“Being a rainfall observer is a rewarding and interesting hobby for people of all ages with an interest in environmental science and there is a great potential for teachers to engage their students in maths, geography and science in a practical way,” Kennedy added.
Pupils at Bridge of Allan Primary School are excited to start their role as citizens scientists, and the school’s headteacher Lynsday Macnair said they are “delighted” to be supporting the project.
“We are delighted to be supporting SEPA with this project. It is an excellent opportunity for our pupils to develop skills in STEM whilst supporting SEPA. Primary 6 are looking forward to the challenge ahead,” Macnair said.