Hey everyone and greetings from Junior Scientists @ Iracambi to our wonderful friends and supporters across the world,
If you've been wondering what has been going on down in our neck of the woods, here's a catchup report. We have just come to the end of the summer holidays (we live in the southern hemisphere, right?) and the Junior Scientists will reconvene this weekend. Stop press: due to popular demand we will now be increasing the number of students from 90 to 150 every month.
And although you may think that during the tropical summer we divide our time between lazing in hammocks and practising samba for Carnaval, we've actually been pretty busy. First off, we entered the GlobalGiving video competition, and you can find our video posted on our project page. http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/brazils-junior-scientists-restore-rainforest-iracambi/ Please check it out and forward it to your friends!
The timing of the competition was a little difficult for us since our Junior Scientists were out of school - most of them down on the farm helping out with farm chores. (With maybe a little samba on the side.) But we were twice blessed, first by the arrival of Rich who volunteered to make our film, and then by Rafael who volunteered to show us what being a Junior Scientist is all about.
Not that most of us had the smallest idea how much time it takes to come up with a three minute film... but hey, we did it. And we'd like to send a big thank you to everyone involved.
If you like the project please keep supporting us as we recruit more young guardians of the forest. It's one of our most successful projects, and we're thrilled that you continue to be part of it..
My name is Adeilson, and I’m eleven, going on twelve.
I have been one of the Junior Scientists @ Iracambi since August 2011, and we are just completing our first semester. The cool thing is that we get out of the classroom and get to spend the whole day at Iracambi. And the food is really good too.
Here I am taking a water sample. We’ve learned how to test for ph, turbidity, conductivity, temperature and water flow. This is really interesting because it has to do with the quality and quantity of our water. We’re also collecting data on rainfall, using our weather station as well as rain gauges we made ourselves to use at home.
Our teacher has been telling us all about the physics and chemistry of water, and we’ve talked a lot about the watershed in our region and why it’s really important to protect our springs and stream banks because otherwise we may have problems with streams drying up and flooding and stuff. And there’s a lot we need to know about climate change, and Brazil's a really important place because we have so much water and so much forest. When I leave school I want to study biology so that I can show all this cool stuff to other kids.
PS from Project Leader, Binka.
Dear wonderful supporters,
The Junior Scientists @ Iracambi would like to send a great big thank you for supporting our work over the past few months. Since we launched the project in July 2011 we’ve been able to provide nearly 100 middle school kids with a whole school day every month out in the field. They’ve been collecting and monitoring data on water, soils and weather, as well as making tree seedlings in our forest nursery.
We’ve recently held a survey and asked the kids to evaluate their experiences and they all say how much they enjoy being out in the forest and getting to use proper scientific equipment. In fact their only complaint is that they only get to come once a month!
So your generous donations are helping us raise a new generation of ecologists to protect the Brazilian forests that are so important to all of us. And we'd love it if you could help us fund an Open Day during the holidays so that our Junior Scientists can invite their friends and family to Iracambi for the day and show them what fun it is to be a proper field scientist.
And right now there's a great way to do this - by purchasing gift cards in support of our project. There's a handy little widget on the project page under the donate button to help you do this, and not only does it solve the problem of what to give, but it could also make our project eligible for an additional bonus award from GlobaGiving to fund our Open Day. So please consider supporting us in this way, and remember it’s not about the size of the gift, (although that helps!) it’s about the numbers of donors. Here’s the link and please share it with your friends, family and colleagues.
Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!
The rains come….
Since the launch of Iracambi’s Junior Scientist project in July, about 90 junior scientists of the schools in Rosário da Limeira and Belisário have been making regular visits to Iracambi to learn about monitoring the environment. Their schools don’t have science laboratories so for most of the pupils (and for the teachers, too!) it is the first time that they have access to scientific equipment and learn how to use it. We have been measuring stream flows and water quality, and now we’ll start looking at soils.
For weeks, we have been talking about measuring rainfall, butt there was never any rain! Finally in October, the rainy season has just started, so now we can see if what we talked about will work or not.