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York academic brings nature to life in local school

Posted on 6 July 2015

An electronic engineer and entomologist from the University of York is conducting talks and workshops on ‘Listening to the World’ at Holme on Spalding Moor Primary School.

Funded by a Royal Society Partnership Grant, Dr Dave Chesmore, Senior Lecturer in York’s Department of Electronics, is visiting the school for six weeks for the project ‘Listening to the World – Sounds in the Environment’.

Delivering weekly workshops to 64 children in Years 5 and 6, the project aims to educate pupils on understanding sounds and how they are made and perceived, ranging from natural sounds such as birds and the wind, to man-made sounds.

Activities will include listening activities in the school fields, sound walks around the village, a visit to Three Hagges Wood in Escrick to make basic sound maps using sound level meters, and creating a distribution map of three grasshopper species using their songs for identification.

Dr Chesmore said: “I’m delighted to join pupils at Holme on Spalding Moor Primary School to explore the sounds we all hear in our everyday lives. Running workshops and outdoor activities, I hope to engage pupils and inspire future scientists. I hope this is the beginning of an important outreach activity that will run for a number of years.”

Dr Chesmore specialises in the application of electronics to biology, particularly entomology.  Researching the automated identification of species using bioacoustics or image processing, he also specialises in the study of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets and bush-crickets) and Symphyta (sawflies). 

The project at Holme on Spalding Moor Primary School concludes on 17 July.

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