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Education at the Geological Society

ghWhat does the Society do in Education?  Education Officer Will Foreman explains.

Education and outreach are a focal point of the Geological Society’s work. The Education Team is involved in lots of projects, from supporting school students and teachers, to geology in Higher Education, with visits to festivals and interaction with other geoscience organisations along the way.

School Resources

With geology cropping out in the national curriculum from Key Stage 2 up to sixth form, we aim to promote geology to students of all ages and inspire older students to register for a degree in geoscience.

jkhSo the ‘resources’ section of the Society website has been growing. Now, alongside the classic topics of Volcanoes and Earthquakes, readers can find factsheets, activity sheets and presentations on many more aspects of geology such as Tsunamis, Flooding and the Rock Cycle.

One of the main reasons for developing our resources is the Geology STEM Ambassadors scheme. Partnering with STEM Learning, this helps to match geologists who want to raise awareness of all things geological with schools that request visits. Everybody benefits! 

Events and Competitions

In 2017 we went to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and New Scientist Live, and sent our tireless volunteers to represent us at other careers events across the country. 
We also run our own events. The Schools Geology Challenge, a competition open to sixth form students, and the Early Careers Award, which celebrates the work of early career geologists, are both annual events run in conjunction with our Regional Groups.

One day of Earth Science Week is always allocated for a schools’ activity. Last year we ran a workshop on ‘Plate Tectonics and Mineralogy’ with lectures and practical activities for groups of visiting secondary level students, including a prospecting team game. The 2018 Earth Science Week will take place on 13-21 October with the theme ‘Earth Science in our Lives’. Please visit the website to see what else is going on.

jhgOnline Resources

We also have three online modules on our website: The Rock Cycle; Plate Tectonics and Geology Career Pathways. All three are full of diagrams and information for students of Key Stage 3 and up. These are the most regularly visited material on our website.

Geoscience Education Academy

The best way to bring geology into the classroom is to become the expert yourself. This year will see the 8th Geoscience Education Academy (GEA) being run at Burlington House. Every July, 30 secondary level teachers and three trainers gather for this four-day residential course. It is always well received and generates great enthusiasm. Look out for the forthcoming extension of GEA for teachers of younger children… Primary GEA is under development now!