IOA Secondary Schools' Competition 2024 - The connection between acoustics and ecology
This competition is for a small team of up to 3 students between 11 and 16 years of age. Students can be from different year groups and classes; however, they need to be from the same educational establishment. Only schools in the UK can enter.
Activity: Use the BirdNET app to identify the birds present in three acoustically different areas.
Task 1: Familiarisation of measurement hardware and software When measuring sound, it is important to understand the hardware and software that you are using. For this task you need to install the BirdNET app onto a smartphone or multiple smartphones. Please find below a link to details on the BirdNET app.*
Task 2: Select three different soundscapes Think about your local area; can you identify three areas that sound different? Describe the soundscape of each area in a way that makes the differences clear.
Task 3: Comment on the bird species that are present Use the BirdNET app to identify any birds that are present in each area* and discuss the differences between the three areas. Make sure that the measurement programme you devise includes a good selection of time periods and that each measurement duration is a suitable length. requirements. Deliverables We would like a brief report describing what you did to familiarise yourselves with the app, and your methodology, results and findings from the measurements. You are welcome to decide which electronic format to use for your report that best suits your entry. See assessment criteria below for more information.
The Prize The winning entrant(s) will each receive a prize of £25 plus £500 for their school and an engraved crystal trophy. The winning school will be invited to send up to three students who have participated in the submission, plus one parent per pupil and one teacher, to collect the winning prize in person at this year’s Noise Abatement Society’s John Connell Awards ceremony which is being held at the Houses of Parliament in October 2024 (date tbc.). Reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be available. Please check the IOA website for details on our terms and conditions.
How to Submit your entry Entries must be submitted in a standard electronic format (e.g. Word, pdf, video or similar) to secondaryioa [dot] org [dot] uk with the email subject title ‘Secondary School Competition Entry from [School Name]’. Please include the name and age of the participating pupils as well as the name and contact details of the school for each competition entry.
The Deadline The deadline for entries is 31st July 2024. Entries will be judged by a panel of experts. The decision of the judging panel will be final.
Health and Safety Participation in this competition must comply with the relevant health and safety requirements that apply to this type of activity at your school. Unless otherwise indicated by yourselves, if you choose to submit a video you are confirming consent for it to be used for Institute of Acoustics publicity purposes.
The Assessment Criteria • Age of the entrants (this will be taken into account when assessing the quality of the report); • Number of students in the group (this will also be taken into account when assessing the quality of the report); • Suitability and ingenuity of the format of the entry deliverable; • Presentation of the entry, including any photographs or audio; - Content, including - Description of the methodology; - Description of soundscapes; - Description of bird species; - Scientific conclusions; • Development of acoustic ideas introduced by the competition.
If you have any questions or would like to be kept up to date on the Secondary Schools’ Competition, please email us at secondaryioa [dot] org [dot] uk, we’d love to hear from you.
*For details on how to use the BirdNET app. visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6evsmOiNfk
To download the official flyer, click here