Teenagers are set to study the use of drones for the first time in a new Environmental Science A-level subject in the UK. Source: The Telegraph UK
Students will also learn how DNA is used to combat the multi-billion pound illegal timber trade, AQA, the exam board in charge of the new qualification, said.
The new A-level will see pupils studying issues like global climate change, marine wildlife conservation, future mineral supplies, future energy supplies (wind, solar and nuclear power) and fracking for gas.
Students will learn about the use of drones to monitor crop pests and track wildlife poachers, satellite surveys to monitor water resources and search for new mineral reserve.
They will also be taught how DNA samples are taken from timber products such as logs, sawn wood or furniture. These are then used to identify the tree species, its country of origin and whether it was traded legally.
The new qualification will be taught from September 2017 subject to accreditation.
Richard Genn, AQA’s lead developer for A-level Environmental Science, said: “Climate change, diminishing resources and failing energy security are amongst the most critical issues facing the world today.
“Planet Earth didn’t come with a user guide, so it’s vital that we equip the current generation of students with the right knowledge and skills so they understand the impact that decisions we make now will have on future generations.
“Environmental Science is a rapidly developing subject, and technology plays a crucial role. This new course is designed to be relevant and topical so that new issues can be studied as soon as they emerge – what is on the news today could be studied in the classroom tomorrow.”
Mike Childs, Head of Policy, research and science at Friends of the Earth, said: “Today’s students are tomorrow’s decision-makers. They will sadly inherit a much degraded planet.
“If they and future generations are to make decisions that secure a safe, clean and healthy planet, our schools must empower young people with the skills and knowledge they need to make smart decisions when they enter the world of work. AQA’s new A-level will help in this.”