Monitoring projects KS3-5

Contribute to a national monitoring scheme by repeating data collection as often as you can throughout the project life. All projects are most suitable for small groups of students, but could be used as class activities with multiple groups of students.

Click on the project title to download a folder with all the information you need to get started. Once you’ve chosen, email us and let us know!

Can’t access Dropbox resources? Visit TES to download our KS3-5 project pack containing all projects here.

Sketch 2015-10-19 18_48_50Bees Sketch 2015-10-19 19_11_42Moths & butterflies
  • Count species of bees on a bush and mark them with paint marker for population monitoring
  • Measure the temperature and record the date
  • Time of year: February-September
  • Time to monitor: 30 minutes (15 minutes to monitor, 15 minutes to mark)
  • Equipment: FSC bee identification chart, thermometer, permanent paint marker (e.g. edding 751 Paint Marker)
  • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, classification, statistical tests
    • Attract moths with a lightbox or sugar ropes and mark moths for population monitoring
    • And/or attract butterflies with sugar sponges and mark them for population monitoring
    • Record the species, measure the temperature and record the date
    • Time of year: Any time (summer term best)
    • Time to monitor: 1 hour to make ropes or sponges, 30 minutes to identify and mark moths; 15 minutes to monitor butterflies
    • Equipment: light box OR string, wood for frame, cola, sugar, and treacle (for moths) AND/OR small jars, sponges, and sugar (for butterflies); thermometer, magnifying glass, small clear containers for holding insects, permanent paint marker (e.g. edding 751 Paint Marker)
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, classification, statistical tests
Sketch 2015-10-19 19_19_01Insects Sketch 2015-10-19 19_38_28Fungi
    • Bury flowerpot pitfall traps to catch beetles
    • Identify and release species, measure the temperature and record the date
    • Time of year: March – October
    • Time to monitor: 10 minutes to set traps, 20 minutes to check and identify species
    • Equipment: FSC insect identification chart, flowerpots, thermometer, magnifying glass, small clear containers for holding insects
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, ecosystems, classification, statistical tests
    • Record fungal species in your grounds, monitor how long they last for and who eats them
    • Measure the temperature and record the date
    • Place fungi in paper cups with vermiculite to rear flies breeding on mushrooms
    • Time of year: October – March
    • Time to monitor: 30 minutes to monitor fruiting bodies; 30 minutes to harvest fungi and 30 minutes to sort flies (1 week after collection)
    • Equipment: camera, FSC fungi identification chart, fly identification chart (provided), thermometer, clear plastic cups, vermiculite, 100% alcohol (provided)
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, ecosystems, classification, statistical tests
Sketch 2015-10-19 19_56_39Pollen Sketch 2015-10-20 15_11_40[2]Reptiles & amphibians
    • Put fluorescent powder on flowering plants
    • Track pollination by monitoring how the powder is spread to other plants
    • Time of year: Spring/Summer terms
    • Time to monitor: 15 minutes for initial plant survey, 2 minutes per plant to set powder, 2 minutes per plant to monitor pollination
    • Equipment: Plant identification guide, fluorescent powder, fine paint brush, magnifying glass
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, statistical tests
    • Put down mats to monitor reptiles and amphibians in your grounds
    • Time of year: Spring/Summer terms
    • Time to monitor: Up to 10 minutes per tile
    • Equipment: carpet tiles, rubber gloves, camera, nail varnish
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, classification, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, statistical tests
Sketch 2015-10-20 14_50_20[2]Pondlife Sketch 2015-10-20 14_56_02[2]Plants
    • Monitor appearance and development of frog and toad spawn in a pond
    • Measure the temperature and record the date
    • Pond dip to discover which species live in the pond
    • Time of year: Spring term
    • Time to monitor: 10 minutes to monitor spawn, 1 hour to collect and weigh spawn; 2 hours for pond dipping
    • Equipment: thermometer, nets, small bucket, magnifying glass, teaspoons, FSC identification charts, scales
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, ecosystems, classification, statistical tests
    • See which plants grow throughout the year, the dominant species, and how abiotic factors affect it
    • See which plants grow in the hedgerow and which animals live there
    • Look for mistletoe, note tree species and rough dimensions of clusters
    • Time of year: Any time
    • Time to monitor: 15 minutes to monitor mistletoe; 2 hours for quadrats in grounds/hedgerows; 30 minutes for soil tests
    • Equipment: quadrat, identification guides, jars, magnifying glass, small clear containers to hold insects, pH meter
    • Curriculum links: sampling techniques, data manipulation and handling, data presentation, scientific attitudes and experimental skills, ecosystems, classification, field techniques, statistical tests, soil analysis

None of these for you? Go back to the project finder to look for something a bit different.