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A2 students hit the zoo. How about you?

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As part of their studies the A2 Biologists and the intensive biology students went to London zoo in November. We took part in a field studies activity day aimed at A level biologists. We discussed, planned and then sampled 2 areas to compare the effect of trampling on the plant species growing in the zoo’s open spaces. We used identification charts and to identify the plants and specific equipment to monitor the abiotic factors in each area. These are topics that often come up in the papers 4 and 5 in CIE exams as well as being on the AQA and OCR specifications, so this was relevant for all students. We then walked to an Area of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the zoo but not in the area open to the public. This area is a managed chalk grassland where plants that are endangered within the UK are found growing. We learnt about the management of this area and performed belt transects and monitored the abiotic factors here. When we returned to college we processed the data and used statistical tests to confirm or reject our original hypotheses. After these learning activities we had free time to walk round the zoo and see all the various endangered creatures that are looked after there and read about the conservation work that is being done to preserve them. This is also on the specification for A2 biology for the exam boards the students are studying. We travelled both ways by mini-bus and returned very wet but zoologically illuminated in a heavy rain ’shower’.

London Brookes College

London Brookes College

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