Russian schoolchildren will conduct biomonitoring of regions with JINR

Education, 03 November 2022

Joint Institute participates in the project Lessons of the Present by the Educational Centre Sirius again. This time, pupils will assess the environmental situation in their home regions. Researchers from the Laboratory of Neutron Physics JINR will help them to do this.

Children will tackle the JINR task in November. Firstly, young scientists will gather information about sources of pollution in their regions, like factories, thermal power plants, roads, etc. At this stage, they will also have to find out what heavy metals can be emitted by these pollutants. The second task is to offer cheap and efficient methods to monitor the state of environment or methods that will help to reduce pollution. Children are supposed to choose themselves natural objects for monitoring or purification. It can be soil, water or air. Then, schoolchildren will use special formulas to calculate spreading of pollutants, i.e. in which directions, over what distances they can spread.

“We want to build an interactive map of Russia together with children. We will chart factories identified by pupils and metals that enter the environment,” curator of the JINR project, Head of the Sector of Neutron Activation Analysis and Applied Research of FLNP Inga Zinicovscaia said. “This project will allow us, researchers, to identify polluted places in the country where we will be able to conduct in-depth biomonitoring works. We hope that children will offer innovative ideas for monitoring or purification of the environment. If an idea is possible to be implemented, we will check it and fulfil together with its authors in laboratory conditions.”

The Laboratory of Neutron Physics has launched a similar educational project for Sirius.Kuzbass Centre. Schoolchildren help scientists to place bags with moss-biomonitors in seven cities of the Kemerovo Region and draw maps of the location of air pollution sources. Then mosses will arrive at JINR, where scientists will determine the content of heavy metals in them and will prepare scientific publications together with pupils.

On 17 November, Inga will give consultation to the participants of Lessons of the Present in Sochi, where the Educational Centre Sirius is located. On 21 November, the consultation will be held online.

The objective of the Lessons of the Present programme is to organize joint project and research work of schoolchildren and scientific leaders of the country. Studios of 5 to 7 pupils of grades from 7 to 11 are formed on the schools’ bases. Students meet offline and online with leading scientists and technologists of the country and the world, they tackle tasks from scientific leaders of the project. The project lasts throughout the academic year. Schoolchildren who apply right now will still have an opportunity to join the tasks of the third cycle including the task from the Joint Institute.