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La Spezia schools welcome ECS Conference 2018


Ligurian schools contribute to the ECS conference

The thirty-second edition of the ECS Conference has seen the active participation of the city of La Spezia and in particular of the schools of the province which are carrying out projects related to the study and
protection of the sea and marine life.

The goals are: Increase the awareness of students and their families towards the preservation of the sea environment and marine mammals in particular; address the interest of students towards the marine sciences and related technologies and contribute to the exploitation and dissemination of historical data obtained during research campaigns conducted in the last 20 years in the Ligurian basin.

Schools from all over the province of La Spezia are taking part to the project. Pupils from 3 up to 19 years of age, are working to give a personal contribution to the conference, with different subprojects depending on the age group.


Sub Projects

  1. Monitoring dolphins in the waters facing the five lands (cinque terre national park). Primary, Secondary, and High School students of several schools are studing the bottlenose dolphin population of the Ligurian sea (likely only along the East coast of the Ligurian Sea). The project involves a phase study of everything is known about the dolphin population that is now stable in front of our coasts.
    During the second phase the students will weekly go out to sea onboard boats (in collaboration with UISP “Progetto mare”, Vela Tradizionale, and Lifeontheseaonlus). Data about abundance, geographical position, presence of cubs, animals’activity, direction of travelling, behaviour, and vocalization recordings will be collected in a database. In march all the data will be analyzed and panels and posters facing different aspects will be set up.
    For the younger students the cetaceans topic will be of inspiration to create handcrafts products such as ceramic artifacts, t-shirt and hats that will be exposed in stands that will be installed in city squares and streets connecting the different workshops areas. Fables, songs and drawings inspired by the theme of the conference will be realized by the three to five years old kids. The students playing instruments will set up a little concert “whale inspired”.
  2. High school students of the Scientific Institute (Liceo Parentucelli) will perform a monitoring of the presence of plastic pollution in the gulf of La Spezia in collaboration with CNR (National Research Centre).
  3. The students of several primary schools may have the chance to spot the bottlenose dolphins during a short trip in the shallow coastal waters in front of the town. Therefore, they are going to build a wire and papier-mache-made bottlenose dolphin replica, together with a display panel, so that the children will be able to discriminate between a dolphin dorsal fin and a moonfish or a shark dorsal fin.
  4. ISA 12 School Institute of Santo Stefano Magra, as a Pole Institute for the "Schools for the ECS" project, aims to take care of the areas where conference and workshops will take place. According with the different age groups, classes will develop research on the key topic, investigating the species of cetaceans and their environment from various points of view. Laboratories will be set up to promote and encourage the acquisition of collaborative and creative skills of the students. These "places" will be a sort of "introductory passages" to the spaces dedicated to the confrontation and discussion between researchers and scientists.
  5. High school students, close to start university studies (Liceo Pacinotti and ITIS Capellini) have been challenged to evaluate acoustic data, still unpublished but unclassified, collected during the research campaigns at sea conducted by the Italian Navy and other NATO navies, Universities and Scientific institutions. The analysis will be performed in cooperation the University of Pavia and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (NATO) on data collected during activities performed within the AECN 1995 and later in 1999-2000-2001 (Sirena ’99, Sirena ‘00 and Sirena ’01) aimed at reducing the impact on cetaceans of military activities at Sea. Students will be encouraged to move through the “world of underwater bio sound” and perform some analysis on cetaceans vocalization (i.e FFT analysis, sound propagation at sea, sensor calibration, etc.).
  6. The 2018 carnival has marked the participation of the entire municipality of St. Stefano, who decided to devote its carnival parade of carts to the marine theme and cetaceans in particular.
  7. Drawing competition has seen the participation of hundreds of students aged 3 to 13, who made drawings with a marine/cetacean theme. Those considered better refined has been printed, thanks to the sponsor Viareggio superyacht, and will become gadgets t-shirt for the conference and, in case, the symbol of the 32th edition of the conference.