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Students in the ESI use software to model by how much sea-levels would have to rise before their school is submerged. Image by Matt Jessop.

Showing the next generation what we do

The ESI recently hosted its annual Environment & Sustainability Day, at which over 100 Year 10 students from ten Cornish schools, from Penzance and Cape Cornwall to St Austell and Newquay, took part in a range of activities and workshops whose aim was to identify the single greatest challenge the local environment faces.

The ESI officially opened in April 2013 and runs this event each year, partly to mark the date, but mainly to cement its commitment to fostering links with local schools, to inspire young people to think about careers in research, and to show that many world-leading academics have made Cornwall, and the ESI, their home.

Pupils took part in workshops about probability and risk, computer-modelling sea-rise, managing conflicting views and balancing ecosystems.

Among the positive feedback received on the day, teachers commented: “The day was excellent and a worthwhile event to repeat. Great to see research in action”, “ a really valuable experience” and “very engaging and informative, the students had a great day”.

Each year the ESI is responsible for a significant volume of leading research, published papers and work with local businesses which helps not just confirm its position at the forefront of environmental research, but also its growing importance to the local economy.

The ESI’s Director, Professor Kevin J Gaston, added: “Having had the Institute opened by a group of Cornish schoolchildren three years ago, it’s more than just fitting that we welcome 100 of them every year. It’s also a tangible way to show young people the possibilities of careers in research and the kinds of question our work is trying to answer. Of course, it’s also a very useful way to continue to develop partnerships with the schools in Cornwall.”

Date: 1 April 2016