Town Belt Kaitiaki

By Pru Casey | Posted: Wednesday October 24, 2018

Year 11 Science students Isaac Lee and Guy Rattanapan not only won an award at the Regional Science Fair with their Native Bird monitoring website - they have also gained accolade at the Kaitiaki Town Belt Awards night last night.

Held at the Art gallery, this was also the venue for the Photography Competition where Bob Lee and Sean Woo in Year 11 and 13 respectively  gained a prize for their wonderful work.

Students have carried out a passion project this year for their Year 11 NCEA and gained credits for a multidisciplinary study in Biology, Physics, and Chemistry.

Guy and Isaac chose to complete a bird monitoring project called a "Five Minute Bird Count". Both students live at the hostel and walk to school to the accompaniment of NZ native birdsong. They were curious to name the birds and began a project to count the songs. They monitored birds at several different sites and then set up a website whereby members of the public could add in their own data too. This caught the attention of the Local Forest and Bird group who immediately adopted the use of the website for their longitudinal studies. Isaac and Guy worked with this group to tailor the website to meet the needs of the group.

Liam Connolly's project (another Year 11 passion project) extended Isaac and Guy's work to compare and contrast birdsong at different locations. Using analyzing software to compare wavelengths of birdsong, Liam looked for and found different accents in birdsong at the different locations. Together, along with the other 32 members of this busy Year 11 class - they presented their work at the Otago Science Fair and won multiple awards. 

This Year 11 Science class has contributed to the body of knowledge about our town belt in areas of fungi, micro-organisms, pest tracking, plant distribution and soil science - all great applications of the work done in the science classrooms at Otago Boys'.