OPAL UK - Scotland
OPAL, or Open Air Laboratories, is a Citizen Science project that aims to collect scientific data about the natural world in Scotland, contributing to a nation wide database. It also hopes to engage as many people as possible with outdoor learning, which is now an essential component of Curriculum for Excellence.
FSC has been a partner of OPAL since it began in 2007, producing survey packs and providing outreach sessions in schools.
In January 2014, OPAL received further funding from Big Lottery enabling them to expand into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. FSC Scotland is now focusing on secondary schools in Scotland and can offer exciting outdoor learning opportunities for free.
Could your students complete an OPAL survey?
There are 7 surveys to complete, each with a different focus. From mini-beasts and earth-worms to tree health and climate, there are a variety of subjects to engage with.
- Surveys can be run as a FREE outdoor learning session at your school
- Surveys can be run by qualified OPAL scientists and are fully risk assessed
- Resources can be requested separately by post – carry out the surveys yourself!
- Can be delivered to all age groups
- Tailored to meet the demands of different learners – Explicit links to Curriculum for Excellence
- Surveys can take around 1 hour but can also be run as longer extended sessions
- Surveys are fully resourced with recording sheets and apparatus
- Can be carried out in your school grounds or nearby locations (e.g. park, playing fields etc)
- More than 1 survey can be completed during a visit
For more information, to arrange for an OPAL scientist to visit your school or simply to order an OPAL survey pack please get in touch with FSC Scotland:
Telephone: 01475 530581 Email: [email protected]
Find out more about the surveys
Since FSC started operating Millport in 2014 we have undertaken over £4.3 million of development work. This has included a new classroom block, new accommodation block, upgrading the on-site Robertson Museum and Aquarium, installing a biomass boiler as well as improvements to the classroom and relaxation spaces of the original building.
This work has happened with generous funding support from North Ayrshire Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Find out more information on FSC's current projects.