Raising students’ awareness with the Smart Pebbles Workshop

During this Autumn and Winter seasons, SCORE will put in place collaborative actions with students aiming at monitoring coastal erosion in our Coastal City Living Labs using the ‘Smart Pebbles’ technology.

Involving young students to monitor coastal erosion in the area of Dún Laoghaire.

One of the key objectives of the H2020 project SCORE is to raise citizen awareness about climate risks in coastal urban areas including in Dún Laoghaire (Dublin CCLL). As part of this objective, the project aims to actively involve younger people and empower them to become active participants in scientific activities related to climate risks.

Citizen Science activities to connect with the scientific community

On 27 September 2023, students from CBC Monkstown, Holy Child School Killiney, and Rathdown School prepared their ‘smart pebbles’ to be placed on Killiney beach. The students of CBC were shown how to 3D scan each pebble, which allows changes in the pebble to be tracked over time.
In Holy Child and Rathdown School, students painted the pebbles to make them easily identifiable when placed on the beach.

Implementation of tools to monitor coastal erosion

The next day, the students installed the pebbles on the beach. Smart pebbles were placed in fixed points on the North section of Killiney beach (on the beach, on the water’s edge, and in water near the shore). The pebbles were successfully located (short-term localization – 4 hours after placing them on the beach) and approximately 50% of them were identified. On the third day, the students, helped by the Dalkey Tidy Towns community group, came back, and managed to locate only 15% of the total pebbles placed (short-term localization – after 24 hours). As a result, they could see how far they had move with the tide in such a short space of time.

What’s next for the Smart Pebbles?

During November and until February, the students will keep an eye on the coast state with a medium/long-term recovery campaign. Students and coordinators will walk around the beach using readers (similar to metal detector). Each time a pebble is spotted, one must then search for it, digging until it is located.

The Smart Pebbles activities are also being carried out in our Sligo Coastal City Living Lab.

Watch the video of the Smart Pebbles workshop