What was done, when and how?

The purpose of the project was to investigate the viability for growing tea plants in different locations in the estate. The pupils' role was to act as consultants to the estate management team.

The team met staff at Tregothnan. They were shown how the tea plants were currently being grown and investigated aspects of the site for potential usage. They identified a range of variables that may impact upon the growth of tea plants, such as moisture, light and aspect, and considered how to make valid and reliable measurements. They made extensive use of data-logging equipment to record, store and display evidence. They took soil samples back to the school for analysis. Tea plants were planted in a variety of locations and growth rates measured.

Consideration was made of the tolerance of the measurements and the variability of the conditions. The evidence was gathered to support the findings and presented in such a way as to achieve this. The pupils placed emphasis upon the linkage between cause and effect.

As well as presenting their findings to the estate team, the pupils also took the results of their investigation to show at the 2008 International Science Student Conference in Japan. This involved them in preparing an A0 poster summarising their work and making a 15-minute presentation to the conference.