(#) MammalWeb citizen science pioneers at Belmont Community School When talking about [MammalWeb](https://www.MammalWeb.org/) ([@MammalWeb](https://twitter.com/mammalweb) on [Twitter](https://twitter.com/)), I would be remiss to not mention the work we did with secondary school students at [Belmont Community School](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont_Community_School) ([@Belmont_School](https://twitter.com/Belmont_School/)). In late 2015, I obtained an [Outreach Grant](https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/funding/outreach-grants/) from the [British Ecological Society](https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/) to bring MammalWeb into schools, which was piloted by working with the teachers at Belmont School. Over the next two years, we organised ecology-themed field trips to the [Durham University Botanic Garden](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_University_Botanic_Garden) and the [Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve](https://durhamwt.com/reserves/rainton-meadows-nature-reserve/) managed by the [Durham Wildlife Trust](https://durhamwt.com/) ([@durhamwildlife](https://twitter.com/durhamwildlife)). A group of mostly Year 9 students also became MammalWeb citizen scientists who deployed camera traps near their school and uploaded photos to the website. ![Pond dipping at the Rainton Meadows nature reserve. [Source](https://flic.kr/p/TJw88d), shared under [CC BY-SA 2.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/).](https://live.staticflickr.com/2838/33955365326_56a7dd3ab6_n.jpg) ![Designing MammalWeb outreach. [Source](https://flic.kr/p/21Vs9nu), shared under [CC BY-SA 2.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/).](https://live.staticflickr.com/4532/38673567902_16005ff49d_n.jpg) The students were not like any other MammalWeb citizen scientist, however. They were also empowered to design outreach activities around MammalWeb. I was impressed by how well they were able to self-organise the delivery of these activities at a local community fair where it was very well received by visitors. This was so successful that the students were invited to set up [their own MammalWeb table](https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9UtkM) at the 2017 [Celebrate Science](https://www.dur.ac.uk/science.outreach/celebratescience/) festival in Durham. This is an annual festival attended by more than 2,000 people, and according to the visitors, it was "great to see young people who are so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about science" and MammalWeb was one of their favourite activities. ![Playing the (in)famous "poo game". [Source](https://flic.kr/p/YGMtqs), shared under [CC BY-SA 2.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/).](https://live.staticflickr.com/4505/37217511134_46b7d242b8_n.jpg) ![Learning about wild mammals. [Source](https://flic.kr/p/FQV7eg), shared under [CC BY-SA 2.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/).](https://live.staticflickr.com/4455/26151467649_7bc0826658_n.jpg) On top of all this, the students were also featured in a short film about MammalWeb where they introduced the project and shared what they learned as citizen scientists. I was blown away by how articulate they were in the video, and am humbled to report that this work was recognised with a [Postgraduate Science Excellence in Outreach Awards](https://www.dur.ac.uk/community/updates/?itemno=35128) from Durham University. Lastly, these students co-authored an article about their experiences which we hope to get published soon. ![MammalWeb project video. [Source](https://vimeo.com/237565215), shared under [CC BY-SA 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/).](./MammalWeb_237565215.mp4) For more photos, please visit [here](https://flic.kr/s/aHskxX3zkP), [here](https://flic.kr/s/aHsm74bMXN), and [here](https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9UtkMb). MammalWeb would not be the success that it is today with its growing network of school partners without the student pioneers from Belmont School. I'd also like to thank their teachers including Mrs Julie Ryder and Mr Pete Goodyear, and Dr [Lorraine Coghill](https://www.dur.ac.uk/science.outreach/meettheteam/) ([@LorraineCoghill](https://twitter.com/LorraineCoghill)) of the University's science outreach team. *This article by Pen-Yuan Hsing and its contents are shared under the [Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) license unless otherwise noted.*