Oxford Uni Computer Science Project

Computer Science students turn their hands to environmental engagement

Tree planting is a hot topic at the moment. Trees help to combat global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide, removing and storing carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. They also provide a canopy and a habitat for many species of wildlife and give us humans health and wellbeing benefits too. Different tree species respond differently to changes in climate so planting the right tree in the right place is important to ensure that new trees thrive into the future.  

Earth Trust were really excited to be part of a group design exercise with Oxford University Computer Science students this year. All undergraduates reading Computer Science, Mathematics and Computer Science, or Computer Science and Philosophy take part in a group design exercise in their second year. The aim of the project is to give students a chance to understand and learn the skills required to successfully deliver a real-world project, not just write a program.

Earth Trust wanted to work with the students to engage people with our woodlands, interpreting data from research trials in Paradise Wood and Neptune Wood to show the importance of these woodlands and how they can help inform sustainable tree planting. We have raw data on the growth of different tree species in the woods and wanted the students to explore how they could use and programme this data to show the impact of climate change on different trees. We were looking for an output that was informative but playful, using the data to engage people in issues around tree planting and woodland sustainability.

Twelve other organisations submitted projects and the students could pick the project that most appealed to them. The Earth Trust project was picked by 20 students who worked in three groups. Find out what each group came up with below.

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