Greenwave science programme launches for students to track spring’s arrival

4 Feb 2013

Students Izzie and Jennifer Dowling from Scoil Mhuire Lakelands in Sandymount in Co Dublin help launch the Greenwave programme

The Irish Government’s Discover Science & Engineering initiative has launched this year’s Greenwave programme, which calls on primary school students to carry out nature and science experiments to track the arrival of spring.

According to scientists, if we were to look at Europe from outer space we would see a green wave moving up across it in springtime. This is the result of the opening of buds on trees and hedges.

This year, Discover Science & Engineering has set students the task of getting outside to log their sightings of six species: frogs, swallows, horse chestnuts, primroses, hawthorn trees and ash trees.

As well as this, students will have to measure and record wind speed, rainfall and temperature.

The Greenwave website has information on how students can make their own anemometer device to track how fast the wind is blowing. To measure weekly rainfall they will have to build their own rain gauge.

The results of the ‘mass’ science project will then be uploaded and recorded on

Last year saw 471 primary schools taking part in the Greenwave project and submitting 1,338 official records of common species and 745 weather observations.  

The Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock, TD, spoke at the launch of this year’s Greenwave programme, where he said educating children at an early age in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects is vital.

“The Greenwave initiative creates an opportunity for children to engage with science in an interesting, fun and hands-on way,” he said.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic