Year 10 biology students get creative, using home made quadrats during lockdown
One of the Biology GCSE modules covers biodiversity and ecology. Students study how to estimate how many species are in a particular area and can then see how biodiverse their local areas are as well as studying the biodiversity of areas around the world. This is taken further at A level where students attend a residential field trip organised with the Field Studies Council (FSC) and take part in real world population estimates.
At Bishop’s we have a lot of equipment used for estimating species numbers including quadrats. These practical activities work best at this time of year for plant species but lockdown has made that very difficult! However Year 10 biologists and Dr Bune have become very creative and designed a quadrat to use in the garden, local wood or park in order to count and estimate the number of different species in that area.
A quadrat is a piece of equipment used in biology field studies. It is a metal grid of squares of a particular size e.g. 1 metre squared. It is randomly thrown on an area and the different species of plant in the quadrat are counted. So it is used to give an estimate of species density (the number of one particular species in an area) and species richness (the number of different species in one particular area). This is part of B4 in GCSE OCR Gateway specification and is also a required practical that the GCSE students have to do but we cannot do at the moment….
Sometimes, all it takes is being creative to study Science.
In the words of the scientist Rosalind Franklin, “Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated”