First organised by Strathnaver Museum and Caithness and Sutherland Countryside Rangers in 2011 the Alan Joyce Young Environmentalist Competition encourages young people from Primary 4 to 7 to demonstrate their awareness of the natural world around them. The Competition is run periodically and was last awarded in 2015.
The 2015 competition took the form of a photography contest organised by Strathnaver Museum and the Flows to the Future project team which explored the central theme of ‘peatlands’. A total of 27 high quality entries were received from four schools across Caithness and Sutherland. As part of the project six schools also took part in outdoor learning activities at local peatland sites delivered by the Flow to the Future project team.
We launched the competition in memory of former biology teacher Alan Joyce who taught at Golspie and Farr High Schools between 1961 and 1988. In 1969 he supervised a winning team of pupils from Golspie High School to the finals of the BBC Young Scientist of the Year competition.
Alan’s knowledge was recognised by all and with expertise in Freshwater biology he devised some interesting projects for his pupils. Alan’s engaging approach to learning can be seen as the forerunner for today’s Curriculum for Excellence, that is, learning through experience.
Even in retirement Alan continued to share his expertise of the local natural environment with visits to schools from Achfary to Farr inspiring a new generation of youngsters. He continued to engage youngsters in their studies, in a very practical manner, until shortly before his death at his home in Melness, in 2007.
2015 Anna Magee, Tongue Primary School
2011 William Saywell, Stoer Primary School