Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Outreach activities

Project website ( The EUROSTRATAFORM project website was set up before the start of the project to provide information for scientists attending the kick-off meeting held in Winchester in September 2002. Since then, the website has expanded to provide information for project partners, the wider scientific community and the general public.

The website is divided into two sections - unrestricted access to general information about the project, the scientific rationale behind the research and news on latest developments.

A section specifically for members of the EUROSTRATAFORM project is password-protected and provides a forum for distribution of project documents, announcements, meeting notes and schedules. It is also home to a number of resources such as the synthesis of existing data compiled by partners for all four of the research areas earlier this year.

A separate website, Classroom@Sea (, has been designed with the aim of bringing marine science to school children and the general public and is linked from the main EUROSTRATAFORM front page. Science Posters for schools ( The EUROSTRATAFORM project co-sponsored the publication of four A1-size full colour posters on various aspects of ocean and earth science (Southampton Oceanography Centre provided matching sponsorship funds).

The posters are aimed at secondary school pupils (age 12-16), and were designed by pupils from a Southampton secondary school with the help of postgraduate students at SOC. The posters are available free of charge on request to schools and educational centres via a dedicated website (URL above). Since their publication in May 2003, 2000 sets of the posters have been distributed to centres all over the world. The posters have proved to be extremely popular across a broad range of age groups and organisations, and feedback from the posters has been very positive. The posters contain the EUROSTRATAFORM logo and credit the project with co-sponsorship.

The Classroom@Sea project The Classroom@Sea initiative was designed to bring real marine science into classrooms by directly involving teachers in EUROSTRATAFORM research. Two science teachers from Hampshire, UK were recruited in spring 2003 to spend 2 weeks as part of the scientific team on board the RRS Charles Darwin during summer 2004. In return, the teachers were responsible for sending back daily reports, photos, video clips and stories from the ship to be posted on the Classroom@Sea website. In the long run-up to the cruise, the teachers were involved in developing material for the website that would provide background scientific information to support the concepts and theories under investigation during the cruise.

In addition, pupils from both schools were involved in a half-day hands-on workshop at SOC in December 2003 where they were introduced to the rock cycle and its role in shaping the Canary Islands, including landslide hazards, turbidity currents and how we investigate the occurrence of these in the deep sea. An art competition, entitled “World Under the Sea” was launched in spring 2004, primarily to involve less scientifically-minded children from around the region, and also to promote cross-curriculum activities which are currently being introduced into UK schools.

The competition was a great success, attracting over 200 entries. A selection of the best entries formed a public exhibition at the Southampton Civic Centre, and the winning pictures are on display at NOC. The Classroom@Sea project attracted a great deal of regional media interest, including BBC Radio who conducted regular live interviews with the teachers and SOC staff in the run-up to the cruise, and a live interview via the satellite phone on the ship itself. Local press ran stories on the project, and articles appeared in SOC’s Ocean Zone, the University of Southampton’s Bulletin and NERC’s Planet Earth magazine. The Classroom@Sea cruise set sail in June 2004.

The interactive “Ask a Question” facility on the website proved popular, with questions for the cruise team being submitted from all over the country. During the cruise, Ian and Elena ran simple experiments designed by their pupils and reported on all aspects of ship life, from the scientific activities on the deck to how the ship’s cook manages to cater for everyone. It was clear early on in the project that the cruise provided an ideal environment not only to demonstrate ideas directly related to marine science, but also to communicate the most fundamental scientific concepts. Feedback relating to the website and the project was extremely positive, with comments from as far away as Australia and the US. This first Classroom@Sea cruise has proved to be so successful that there are plans to continue the scheme beyond the lifetime of EUROSTRATAFORM.

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Southampton Oceanography Centre
Southampton Oceanography Centre
SO14 3ZH Southampton
United Kingdom
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