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National Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Award

National Schools Geology Challenge

National Schools Geology Challenge 2015

Now in its fourth year, the National Schools Geology Challenge is looking for 2015 finalists.

Do you think you have suitable Year 12 &/or 13 science/ geography or geology students who would work well as a team to produce a themed poster? Or develop a 5 minute presentation on their chosen (geology related) topic to a panel of leading geologists from academic and industry?

Heats take place all over the UK, with regional winners competing in the final at The Geological Society in London on 29th April 2015.

If you’re interested in competing in next year’s event, please contact for further information and to register your interest.

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Previous Winners

Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Award 2014

On Thursday 8 May, the Geological Society held its third National Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Award Finals at Burlington house.

2014 Schools Geochallenge WinnersSchools Geo Challenge

It was a very close final between the schools; Reading Blue Coat, Gower College and Wells Cathedral. Each school was judged on a poster about their chosen topic, then the students gave a 5 minute presentation, (followed by some probing questions from the judges!) and the final part was a general geology quiz.

The winners this year were Wells Cathedral School, whose chosen topic was “The Impact of Plate Tectonics on Life on Earth”. Congratulations to their teacher David Rowley and his students.

2014 Early Career Award

Early Career Award

The Early Career Award Winner was Amy Stewart from the Solent Regional Group. Amy gave an engaging presentation to a very mixed audience on “Calculation, Analysis & Management of Shallow Marine Mineral Reserves” based on her work at Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd.

Well done to Amy and the other finalists:

  • Duncan Murdock - East Midlands Regional Group
  • Chris Wilde - Southern Wales Regional Group
  • Mike Daniels - Thames Valley Regional Group

If you require any further details about the above event, or would like to know how you could get involved next year, please email

Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Award 2013

After a successful first year, the finals of both awards were held again at the Society in 2013, hosted by Society Vice President Paul Maliphant.

‘Winners and finalists alike were all excited by the bringing together of early career professionals and A level students, in such an educational and fun arena’ says Paul.

Winners of the 2013 ChallengeSchools Geo Challenge

The A level students, winners from regional group competitions held across the country, each provided a poster on a chosen topic, gave a presentation and participated in a quiz fire quiz. The early career finalists, also representing their regional groups, each gave a 20 minute presentation on their work in geology.

The winning school, Wells Cathedral School, delivered an engaging and entertaining presentation on the evolution of the eye which impressed the judges – who included Society President David Shilston, and Executive Secretary Edmund Nickless.

Early Career Award

The Early Career Award yielded two winners – hydrogeologist Rosalind Pedder, finalist from the Southern Wales Regional Group, who spoke on ‘Impeller flow logging in fractured crystalline rock at a proposed open-pit mine site', and Oxford University PhD student Owen Weller, the Thames Valley Regional Group finalist, whose talk was entitled ‘Zircon: the geological time keeper’. Read Roz and Owen's thoughts on the award.

All students who participated in the finals were awarded Junior Candidate Fellowship of the Geological Society.

Read more about the 2013 event in our Geoscientist article.