17/10/2017 in RZSS
The leaves are beginning to turn, the temperature is starting to drop and the nights are getting longer- Autumn is here and we’ve been out and about with the bus across Scotland!
September started with visits to Bankhead, Cadder & Broomhill Primary Schools in Glasgow. We heard some fantastic stories from students and staff of roe deer visiting their school grounds. It just goes to show that you don’t need to travel far to find amazing wildlife, just keep your eyes open!
We were then back on the road and on our way north. We made a pit stop in Perth to visit Moncreiffe Primary and then headed up the A9 through the beautiful purple carpeted Cairngorms National Park to Inverness. A highlight for us was fantastic minibeast hunting with the Primary 4 class of Hilton Primary in their beautiful school orchard. We found all sorts of critters including a brightly coloured and hairy caterpillar and a huge garden spider. Leaving a wild space in your school grounds or garden is a fantastic way to encourage wildlife and teach students about the natural world. Whilst in Inverness we also visited Cauldeen and Cawdor schools who treated us to great sessions and a fantastic view from the Milton of Leys playground across the Moray Firth.
After the school days were over we were keen to get out and explore what the top of the Great Glen had to offer. Our first stop had to be a visit to the iconic Loch Ness. Brodie the beaver didn’t have any luck finding Nessie, but did enjoy the views of Urquhart castle.
We also went in search of Jacobites around Culloden Moor, the site of the battle and visited Fort George, the 18th Century fortress built in the aftermath of the uprising. It is now open to visitors whilst still serving as an army barracks. The ramparts are a prime location to watch for bottlenose dolphins, seals & porpoises across from Chanonry point, a well-known hotspot for marine wildlife sightings. The fort is also home to an impressive colony of voles and there have been sightings of pine martens around the fort in the dry ditches. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
The following week we started back in RZSS Edinburgh Zoo celebrating Climate Week 2017. We were open to zoo visitors, raising awareness of and inspire action on climate change. A common question we get asked by students is what we are doing to help offset our carbon emissions? Thanks to a collaboration with the Woodland Trust, we have delivered over 1,000 trees to 66 schools across Scotland. As well as offsetting our emissions, they also provide valuable habitats for many Scottish species. We also visited schools in West Lothian including Bathgate, Balbardie and Kirkhill primary. Thank you to all the students who got involved with the sessions on the bus.
This month we were lucky enough to be invited back to the Bang Goes the Borders science festival in Melrose alongside RZSS Beyond the Panda outreach programme. It was a very well attended event, we had almost 800 visitors on the bus and it was a brilliant day out in the Scottish Borders. It was wonderful to be a part of such a worthwhile event, sharing important skills in STEM and opening up opportunities for engaging young people.
In the final week of September, we visited schools in Kilmarnock and North Lanarkshire. Thank you to pupils at Galston, St Andrews, Kilmaurs and Netherton Primary schools - we had great fun teaching you about endangered animals, habitats, minibeasts and the bonnie beasts of Scotland!
Also, congratulations to P6 at St Andrews Primary in Kilmarnock for a record breaking dam building score of 2 minutes!
We finished September as guests at the launch of the Youth Academy Initiative at Boroughmuir Rugby club in Edinburgh. We had a lovely day out and luckily the weather held off for the rugby match.
Next month we are spending some time in the office having a good clear out, developing our lessons and making plans for the next year. We will be visiting RZSS Highland Wildlife Park during October half term for the Royal Society of Edinburgh at Inverness family day and visiting schools in the central belt, so keep an eye out for us on the road.
See you next month,
Rosie & Morna
“New environment adds excitement- practical and fast paced lesson and able to discuss & think for themselves. Thanks, loved the final link with the lynx and the wolf that tied in with assembly” Cawdor Primary School
“Great resources, kids fascinated. Really brightened up a rainy day!” Cadder Primary School