Date: 
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 15:45

The Eden Project is hosting the launch of a new scientific initiative giving students the chance to be part of the ExoMars Mission while investigating the impact of atmospheric changes here on Earth.

Amazing Atmospheres led by the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) will see sixth-form students evaluating the atmospheric gas content of sites across the UK using mobile multi-gas analysers.

Some of the sensors will be placed at IRIS-registered schools and colleges with others at sites including Eden’s Rainforest Biome where the project will be launched on March 29.

Data on seasonal changes in composition and temperature will be collated with the aim of understanding the changing molecular make-up of our local environment. The composition of the atmosphere has implications for climate change, air quality and public health.

Thanks to the backing of the UK Space Agency, students will also be able to compare the Earth atmospheric data with that collected on the current ExoMars Mission, which is searching for traces of gases that might have supported life on Mars.

Professor Becky Parker, Director of IRIS, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for students to make discoveries that will help us understand what is happening to our atmosphere and the impact it has on our lives.

“The study of atmospheric gas content covers a large part of the school curriculum, from planetary physics to computer science, mathematics and social studies of history and exploration. By taking part in this project, students will be able to find answers themselves, instead of having them at the back of the text book.”

Sam Kendall, the Eden Project’s Education Manager, said: “Eden is a huge advocate for young people’s engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

“We’re delighted to support the Amazing Atmospheres project and very interested to see what the students discover about the gases in Eden’s Rainforest Biome compared to the Martian atmosphere.”

The necessary equipment for Amazing Atmospheres is being supplied by Internet of Things platform company Drayson Technologies and air quality monitoring systems provider Enviro Technology Services.

For more information on the Eden Project go to www.edenproject.com.

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