28th April 2017
A group of South Devon College students and staff are currently in Sweden as part of an Erasmus funded project to learn more about the sustainable use of water ran by Susswater. For the project the College has teamed up with partners in three countries; Bromangymnasiet College in Hudiksvall, Sweden, Val Skole in Norway and the Irish Sea Fisheries Board; each partner has also brought students to Sweden to work alongside each other and exchange ideas for a week.
The South Devon College students are studying a range of environmental science based courses; BSc Applied Animal Science, FdSc Marine Science, Level 3 Marine Biology and Ecology and the Science Technician Apprenticeship. All of the students have a real passion for science and sustainability and hope that their participation in the project will help them to understand and influence how water can be used in a more sustainable way.
The students have undertaken a range of activities so far this week. This began with a tour of Bromangymnasiet College and experiencing some practical laboratory lessons on Monday. On Tuesday they were very excited to wake up to find that it had snowed heavily overnight, something rarely seen in Devon! Despite the weather conditions, the students travelled inland from Hudiksvall to tour a 16th Century Farm and to visit Järvzoo to spot some of the animal species native to Sweden such as wolves, bears and lynx. These visits helped to set the scene for Wednesdays activities where Dr Fredrik Sundström from Uppsala University came to speak to students about genetic modification of animals, including farmed salmon, and Hans Sjögren from the local government office in Gälve came to speak to the students about the use of Hydroelectric Power Stations in Sweden.
The students from all four countries worked brilliantly together to look at the challenges of siting Hydroelectric Power Stations and to design their own genetically modified animals. On Thursday the students presented some of their own research in a conference style poster workshop; topics included genetic engineering, ethics and aquaculture from the different international perspectives.
The next steps for the project will be a visit to the Aquaculture farms in Ireland next April, followed by all the partner organisations visiting South Devon College in November 2018. The project will wrap up with a visit to Norway in April 2019.
Want to see more about what the students have been doing? You can follow us on Facebook @susswater or follow the Land Based twitter page @landbased_SDC.