Junior Scientists at Iracambi, our new program of citizen science for kids, aims to transform school children into forest guardians, as they learn the knowledge, skills and ability to understand the value of trees and water and help restore the once mighty Atlantic Forest.
Junior Scientists work with citizen scientists to plant and care for young trees, collect data on forest cover and water, and share their findings with their families. It’s important for their families because government funding is available for farmers who reforest around streams and springs, preserving water for supplies, protecting biodiversity, contributing to carbon sequestration, and incorporating the forest into the farm economy. By showing the children how to track changes in water and forest cover, we are not only equipping them with scientific skills but also reinforcing the concept of good forest and water management.
Working with Iracambi citizen scientists, Junior Scientists will learn to use scientific equipment to:
- make tree seedlings, plant them and care for them,
- track changes in forest cover, to see how well trees are growing,
- measure changes in water quantity and quality: ph level, turbidity and flow rate
- measure soil temperature, ph and moisture levels
- check the weather station to collect data on barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall and local forecasts.
They will then download the data, learn to locate study areas on the map using GPS, and record and graph their data in Iracambi’s well equipped computer lab.
How cool is that?