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A new A-level means students can study drones

01/07/2016 Kelly

A new A-level in environmental science will see students learning about the uses of drones.

The course will see students learning how drones are used to monitor crop pests and track wildlife poachers , satellite surveys to monitor water resources and search for new mineral reserve. 

They will also be able to study how DNA is used to combat the multi-billion pound illegal timber trade, as well as issues including global climate change, marine wildlife conservation, future mineral supplies, future energy supplies (wind, solar and nuclear power) and fracking for gas.

In addition, they will be taught how DNA samples are taken from timber products such as logs, sawn wood or furniture to identify a tree's species and country of origin. 

AQA, the exam board in charge of the new qualification, said that this new A-level will be available to study from September 2017.

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.

"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."

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