The Science Shop provides opportunities for students to develop their skills by carrying out curriculum-based research projects on behalf of community and voluntary organisations. It also enables community and voluntary groups to access the knowledge and information resources of the University through this student project work. Many of these projects deal with environmental issues.
The Science Shop is also a founding member of the International Science Shop Network whose members have carried out environmental research in partnership with NGOs across Europe. The development of this partnership working will continue under the EC funded PERARES programme in which Queen’s Science Shop is a partner.
The Science Shop is a collaborative programme with University of Ulster, funded by the Department for Employment and Learning under the Higher Education Innovation Fund.
Under the Queen’s University Science Shop the University’s staff and students have completed some 600 projects for non-profit groups in Northern Ireland over the past ten years. Examples of projects with an environmental focus include:
- Bryson Recycling - Students from a range of academic areas, including Geography, Environmental Engineering and Sociology, have carried out research looking at attitudes to recycling in different geographic areas across Northern Ireland, helping to assess publicity materials around recycling, and offering mechanisms for designing the most efficient routes for waste collection.
- Share village - Students from across the University, particularly from Biological Sciences, have carried out research to support the development of an environmental education centre at Share, including examining flora and fauna in the local area. An MSc Environmental Engineering student worked on the issue of renewable energy technologies, making suggestions to help Share build on their excellence in this area. Currently a student on the MSc Water Resources Management programme is examining mechanisms that Share might put in place as flood defences.
- Tools for Solidarity - An MSc Social and Community Studies student recently completed a dissertation examining attitudes to the second hand clothes trade in Northern Ireland, particularly given the practice of recycling unsalable clothes overseas.
- Newcastle Community Planning Forum - An Engineering student carried out research into flooding issues in Newcastle and made recommendations that the town’s waste water system should be examined to ensure total separation of storm and sewerage systems.