Nurdle Studies with Schoolchildren

Helping students love their place through citizen science

Subject: Nurdle Hunts
Location: Satellite Beach, Florida
Leader: Dr Robert Sluka

A chance to see science in action

Small schools, particularly faith-based ones, do not often have the opportunity to engage with environmental issues in a science-based, participatory manner. Coastal Community School in Florida has established a project in partnership with A Rocha USA to continue to study nurdles (microplastics) on Satellite Beach, which will help them understand and love their place. Students report back what they learned and experienced to their school and community through a science fair and open-to-the-public school assembly.

Students gain experience

In collaboration with classmates, students use a dissecting microscope to inspect and classify objects as true microplastics, and then use their data to develop science fair projects. A Rocha staff will give a presentation on how Christian faith and environmental care fit together at a special public school exhibition where students will present their findings to the whole school and community.

Living out our mission

This project touches on all four missional goals of A Rocha USA: it involves ecological monitoring of high-value area for wildlife (Florida’s coast); it is a practical measure for better conserving the flora and fauna of a particular place (Satellite Beach); it encourages appreciation of nature and participation in its conservation; and finally, it provides a forum for understanding the relevance of the Christian faith to environmental issues.

Combing the beach for nurdles

By collecting data on nurdle presence and abundance through citizen science, students learn about microplastics on their beach and how beach clean-ups care for creation.

Project in partnership with