The BioMara project has sent out teaching material on marine algae to 900 schools in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The teaching materials have been developed for primary schools to create awareness of algae –both macro (seaweeds) and micro (phytoplankton)—and how energy can be produced from them.
BioMara is a joint UK and Irish project, funded by the EU’s INTEREG IVA Programme, which for the past four years has been investigating the feasibility and viability of producing sustainable fuel from marine biomass, macroalgae and microalgae. The €6M research project has also studied the environmental, social and economic impacts of using marine biofuel.
The teaching pack includes six lessons on algae, each of which relates to a specific area of the curriculum. There is detailed information on each topic, plus activities, illustrations and photographs, Also in the pack is a colourful poster and identification section ideal for a field trip.
The 900 schools to receive the pack were chosen at random.
The BioMara project ends this month (December 2012). Part of its legacy is the supported training of the next generation of researchers studying algal biofuels at doctorate level and introducing primary school children via the teaching pack to algae and their many properties and uses.
The teaching resource is free and can be downloaded from the internet from the BioMara website.