Science - Discover what lies beneath

8th June 2012 at 01:00

What it's all about

It was a chilly Friday afternoon when I took the call from zoologist Adrian Glover, writes Ivvet Modinou. "Do you want to go to the Bahamas?" he asked.

Adrian and his team were travelling to the Caribbean island in search of a specialised marine worm called Oseda, nicknamed "zombie worm", as it consumes whale bones at the bottom of the sea.

They would be searching for the worms using a remotely operated vehicle to descend into the waters. My job as one of the Natural History Museum's science communicators was to report back to schools in the UK.

But how do you engage pupils in the UK with science 5,000 miles away? We ran a series of interactive events via video-conference and live chats with scientists before, during and after the trip. Pupils could follow Adrian and the team from their initial hypothesis, through collecting data and then interpreting their findings. It was a first for the museum - an amazing way to connect schools with scientists in very remote places and revealing elements of the scientist's job that children don't usually see.

The head of Bohunt School, Neil Strowger, said "This innovative project captured and held the students' interest superbly, in particular the videolink and the ability to comment in real time."

What else?

For information about the museum's free school activities visit www.nhm.ac.ukeducationschool-activities; and explore how animals adapt over time on the Natural History Museum Learning's evolution site.

Look at creatures living under the sea with kCOATES's picture presentation.

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