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A group of Year 9 students have been working on an eco-friendly way of helping Dartmoor Zoo care for a group of crab-eating macaques.

The students have been working on the project for a year coming up with a sustainable plan to heat a pool for the animals should they come to live at Dartmoor Zoo.

Their plan forms the basis of their entry to the Big Bang - a  national STEM competition - which takes place next year.

The group has worked with Brad Crocker, STEM ambassador from Babcock, and he and Tina Brinkworth, Babcock's STEM co-ordinator, came along to watch them pitch their idea at the Gazelle Centre at City College Plymouth on 6 July 2015.

"We have really enjoyed working with your students," said Tina.

"Apart from being fun this project has given them the opportunity to practice their presentation skills, teamwork and may other skills which are the kind of things that employers are looking for.

"They've been really keen and shown commitment and enthusiasm which has really impressed me."

 Ben Mee from Dartmoor Zoo said he had "really enjoyed"  the students' presentation.

"This is a real-life scenario - there is a group of crab-eating macaques in Holland which we hope will come to us and I'm impressed by the students' ideas for heating the pool.

"The students have researched it thoroughly and presented very confidently - it's not just about the science, they've dealt with costing and honed their media skills too - well done to them.

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English teacher Ms Radford, who is running the project with Science teacher Mr Barenskie, said it was a privilege for the students to have the chance to present at the Gazelle Centre - City College's specially designed state-of-the-art teaching STEM-focused facility and exhibition space.

"This has given then a solid start to their project with the Big Bang competition," said Ms Radford.

"The Gazelle Suite at City College was impressive and added excitement to the afternoon.

"We had a great time and the students all agreed it was an empowering experience."

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News from Stoke Damerel: Archive 2014/15




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