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Projects gallery 2019-2020 – Climate detectives
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Projects gallery 2019-2020


Climate Detectives Projects 2019-2020

Project topic: Wildfires

Project title: Forest fires in Miranda do Corvo

Team: Minions, Cuidadores da Terra!

2019-2020¬†¬† Escola B√°sica Integrada / JI Prof. Dr. Ferrer Correia, Agrupamento de Escolas de Miranda do Corvo¬†¬† Coimbra ¬† Portugal ¬† 10 Student’s age: 10-11

Summary of the project

Miranda do Corvo is a county in the district of Coimbra, severely tormented by wildfires. Given the impact fire causes on climate we decided to investigate the consequences of fire in our region. We developed a number of activities to make students, families, teachers and staff more aware of this problem and of trying to find ways to mitigate it. To begin our investigation, we conducted two experiments aiming to analysing the effects of fire on soils. The students and us organized a school‚Äôs day trip to the nearby region of Lous√£. We had the opportunity to visit the factory Prado – Cartolinas da Lous√£, a producer of cardboard. We were able to get to know the process of transforming raw material and processing it until obtaining the final product. This factory is committed to working in a sustainable manner to minimize impact on the environment. We attended a Safe Forest Workshop aiming to raise the community‚Äôs awareness through the younger ones, educational agents and adults of tomorrow. We learned how to prevent putting ourselves in danger, becoming aware of the need to protect and the environment. By being conscious of what it takes to protect each and every one of us, we promote solidarity and group consciousness. We visited the University of Coimbra‚Äôs LEIF ‚Äď ‚ÄúLaborat√≥rio de Estudos sobre Inc√™ndios Florestais‚ÄĚ). We observed a number of different tests that promote scientific knowledge on fire related phenomena: how they start and how they spread according to different conditions. These tests contribute to the effort of minimizing the negative impact of these wildfires. The LEIF also conducts investigation on personal security: firefighters, clothing, housing,… The Head of the Fire Brigade of Miranda do Corvo was also very helpful supplying us statistic facts of fire in the region over the past 10 years. —————————– Miranda do Corvo pertence ao distrito de Coimbra, que no Ver√£o tem sido fustigado por inc√™ndios. Por esse motivo, dado o impacto que os inc√™ndios provocam no clima, decidimos investigar e estudar quais as consequ√™ncias dos inc√™ndios no concelho, assim como desenvolver diversas atividades para sensibilizar a comunidade educativa para este tema. Para levar a cabo a nossa investiga√ß√£o realiz√°mos atividades experimentais, uma visita de estudo e contact√°mos o comandante dos Bombeiros Volunt√°rios de Miranda do Corvo. Realiz√°mos duas atividades experimentais com o objetivo de analisar o impacto dos inc√™ndios no solo. Juntamente com os alunos plane√°mos, organiz√°mos e efetu√°mos uma visita de estudo √† Lous√£. Tivemos oportunidade de visitar a F√°brica Prado – Cartolinas da Lous√£, a Oficina de Seguran√ßa ‚Äď Floresta, bem como o Laborat√≥rio de Estudos sobre Inc√™ndios Florestais (LEIF). Na f√°brica de papel, acompanh√°mos os v√°rios processos de transforma√ß√£o da mat√©ria-prima, processo de fabrica√ß√£o at√© √† obten√ß√£o do produto final. Um dos compromissos da f√°brica √© produzir de forma sustent√°vel: preocupa-se com o impacto que provoca no meio ambiente, realizando estudos de modo a minimizar esse impacto. Na Oficina, que tem como objetivo principal sensibilizar a comunidade atrav√©s das mensagens pelos mais novos, enquanto agentes educativos que ser√£o os homens de amanh√£, aprendemos a prevenir situa√ß√Ķes de risco, a tomar consci√™ncia da necessidade da prote√ß√£o da floresta e do meio ambiente, para a auto-prote√ß√£o e promo√ß√£o de um esp√≠rito solid√°rio na seguran√ßa de todos. No laborat√≥rio acompanh√°mos atividades experimentais que promovem o conhecimento cient√≠fico dos fen√≥menos relacionados com a ocorr√™ncia e propaga√ß√£o dos inc√™ndios florestais, com vista ao suporte dos esfor√ßos comuns para a minimiza√ß√£o dos impactos negativos dos mesmos. O LEIF faz investiga√ß√£o relacionada com a seguran√ßa pessoal nos inc√™ndios florestais. O Comandante dos Bombeiros forneceu dados estat√≠sticos dos inc√™ndios do concelho, nos √ļltimos 10 anos.

Main results

The soil can suffer irreversible and permanent danger in result of fire. Therefore, soil that has taken thousands of years to form can be forever lost. Land is the habitat for many animals and they guarantee food for both animals and humans. To study the impact of wildfires we conducted two experiments: we used soil with vegetation and soil with no vegetation that was taken from ground burnt by fire. We observed that in the soil with vegetation water drained slowly and infiltrated better and was more transparent than in the other soil which was greatly washed away and the water much darker. We concluded that the presence of vegetation holds the soil/land and filters the water. So, vegetal covering is extremely important in keeping the soil and fighting erosion. In the second experiment we analysed the amount of air existing on both soils. We concluded that the soil from burnt ground did not let the water drain, was impermeable. However, we were not able to finish this experiment as we had intended to, so it did not meet our expectations. Nevertheless, it reinforced our idea that the soil changes after a fire. The visit to the LEIF was of extreme importance to all of us, as Engineer Andr√© Rodrigues explained their activities and tests, answering all our questions. We won‚Äôt forget his explanations (supported by experiments we were lucky enough to observe) about how humidity, the quality and quantity of fossil fuel and the inclination of the terrain influence fire: the way is grows and spreads. He also referred consequences and ways to prevent fire we did not know. We believed that the trees in our region, eucalyptus, were to blamed for the extension of wildfires but now we know there is a lot more to be said. —————————– O solo pode degradar-se de forma irrevers√≠vel em resultado das atividades humanas, tais como os inc√™ndios. Perdem-se solos que levam milhares de anos a formar-se, que s√£o o habitat de muitos seres vivos e garantem a alimenta√ß√£o dos seres humanos. Para estudar os impactos dos inc√™ndios realiz√°mos duas atividades experimentais. Na primeira atividade us√°mos um solo com vegeta√ß√£o e o solo sem vegeta√ß√£o, retirado de uma √°rea ardida. Observ√°mos que no solo com vegeta√ß√£o a √°gua escorreu lentamente, mais l√≠mpida e infiltrou-se mais do que no solo sem vegeta√ß√£o. O solo sem vegeta√ß√£o tem uma quantidade de solo removido muito superior ao solo com vegeta√ß√£o (√°gua escura). Conclu√≠mos que a presen√ßa de plantas fixa o solo e filtra a √°gua. Podemos concluir que o coberto vegetal √© muito importante na conserva√ß√£o do solo e no combate √† sua eros√£o. Na segunda atividade experimental pretend√≠amos analisar a quantidade de ar que existia nos diferentes solos. Conclu√≠mos que o solo onde ocorreu o inc√™ndio tornou-se imperme√°vel, n√£o deixando a √°gua infiltra-se. A nossa atividade em rela√ß√£o √† quantidade do ar num solo f√©rtil e num solo onde passou o inc√™ndio foi inconclusivo (n√£o conseguimos repetir a atividade experimental, devido √† pandemia), n√£o sendo poss√≠vel responder √† quest√£o-problema. Contudo, veio refor√ßar a certeza da altera√ß√£o da qualidade do solo ap√≥s o inc√™ndio. Na visita ao Laborat√≥rio, o Investigador Dr. Andr√© Rodrigues explicou que o comportamento dos inc√™ndios depende da inclina√ß√£o do terreno, da humidade, da quantidade e do tipo de combust√≠vel,‚Ķ O Dr. Andr√© Rodrigues referiu algumas consequ√™ncias e medidas de preven√ß√£o dos inc√™ndios. Pudemos visualizar atividades pr√°ticas/experimentais do estudo dos inc√™ndios, vendo a evolu√ß√£o do fogo alterando as condi√ß√Ķes. A visita revelou-se de extrema import√Ęncia de ter mudado a nossa ideia inicial, que o grande problema do nosso concelho advinha dos eucaliptais.

Actions to help lessen the problem

Throughout the school year we had planned to develop a number of activities to raise the population‚Äôs awareness to the problem of wildfires. The students started by planting a variety of seeds/bones from different trees such as chestnut trees, oak trees and walnut trees. These were meant to be distributed among the families and friends at our end of the school year outdoor party which takes place every year in mid-June. We had also planned several other activities for the third term which were to be made public at that same end of school year celebration, but due to the pandemic of Covid 19 which closed all schools in Portugal on the 16th March as well as across Europe and the world, we were not able to conclude them. To overcome this situation, we created a website where we posted and made public all the work we had already done and all the conclusions we had come to so far. Unlike our initial idea (blaming eucalyptus trees) we now know that cleaning forests is of utmost priority, because if fire has no fossil fuel or as little as possible, it does not spread so quickly and it is much easier to put out. This is a fact that we will do what it takes to pass the word to the general population. We are now sure that we will continue to study this urgent problem with such an impact on the region where we live, on our country, on the health of the population, the economy, the climate, the FUTURE. —————————– Ao longo do ano letivo, t√≠nhamos previsto desenvolver v√°rias a√ß√Ķes/atividades para sensibilizar a comunidade educativa para a problem√°tica dos inc√™ndios. Os alunos come√ßaram por realizar uma sementeira de v√°rias √°rvores aut√≥ctones (castanheiro, nogueira e carvalho) que iriam ser distribu√≠das na festa final de ano. T√≠nhamos ainda previsto diversas atividades a desenvolver no 3¬ļ Per√≠odo, sendo de salientar: realiza√ß√£o de um musical de sensibiliza√ß√£o alusivo ao tema para a comunidade educativa; pintura de t-shirts personalizada para o efeito; atelier com as v√°rias atividades/descobertas realizadas ao longo do ano. Estas atividades iriam tornar-se p√ļblicas na festa de final de ano. Devido ao encerramento das escolas a 16 de mar√ßo de 2020, todas as atividades planeadas para o 3¬ļ Per√≠odo ficaram por realizar. Para colmatar esta situa√ß√£o, cri√°mos um site onde public√°mos todas as atividades/descobertas que foram desenvolvidas at√© essa data. A principal conclus√£o a que cheg√°mos, ao contr√°rio da nossa ideia inicial, √© a extrema import√Ęncia da limpeza das florestas, uma vez que sem combust√≠vel o fogo n√£o se propaga t√£o depressa e √© mais f√°cil extingui-lo. Isto √© um facto que iremos fazer o que estiver ao nosso alcance para transmitir √† comunidade educativa. Continuaremos a aprofundar os nossos conhecimentos sobre esta problem√°tica com o impacto t√£o profundo no nosso concelho e no nosso pa√≠s, para a sa√ļde da popula√ß√£o, para a economia, para o clima e para o FUTURO.

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