The primary school children in Vuores, in UNaLab front-runner city Tampere, are actively participating in monitoring the water quality of nearby ditches and lakes. They conduct the examinations with their teachers during spring and autumn. In addition to water quality, the children also examine water insects. The UNaLab project has provided the school with water examination backpacks, in which you can find equipment to measure the ph level, turbidity, oxygen, visual depth, temperature and algae levels of the water. You can also find species identification cards in the backpacks to help the children identify different aquatic species. The water insects are captured with a net and the species are then identified with microscopes in the classes. The UNaLab project experts, together with Tomi Kumpulainen, Curator at the Tampere Museum of Natural History, helped the children at the beginning with the monitoring activities. Today, the school conducts the monitoring independently and reports the results back to the city.
The children have greatly appreciated the water monitoring activities and the backpacks have been used both during school days and at home. The parents have also been excited about the monitoring and have been giving lots of good feedback on the activity. The aim of this work is not so much to produce research information, but to raise environmental awareness and appreciation of nature.