WGCG delivers a  successful Outreach event to Shipston Primary School

At the beginning of January WGCG received a request for help from a teacher at Shipston Primary School.  Deborah Parke, a WGCG member and local to the area, was approached and kindly agreed to assist the school in their year 3 lesson on volcano’s. Here is a summary of the experience written by Deborah.

Cyrus Read Geophysicist USGS, Alaska Volc Observatory [email protected] – https://www.usgs.gov/atom/15347  Public Domain

” Having met the teacher and agreed a date and time for me to deliver a 45 minute talk on volcanoes, I let Ray Pratt know what was going to happen. From then on, the support and encouragement I received from WGCG colleagues was great. As soon as I’d agreed to do the talk, I was sent links to teaching resources, offered rock samples from personal collections to take into school and loaned hand lenses and magnifying glasses. Ian Fenwick was especially helpful, allowing me to put together a selection of beautiful igneous rocks from the WCGC collection to show the children.

Between initial discussions at the school and the talk happening, some changes occurred – meaning that my 45 minute talk became a 90 minute talk!

I followed the class plan I’d been given by the teacher fairly closely, outlining the different kinds of eruption, different types of lava/shapes of volcano, anatomy of a volcano and the general definition of active, dormant and extinct volcanoes. Throughout the session, there were rock samples illustrating what I was talking about. I also had photos from my 2018 trip to Hawaii at the time of the Kilauea eruption to show real lava fountains and lava fields, and a CGI video of an eruption and pyroclastic flow. At the end of the talk, there was time for the children to handle the rocks, ask me to help identify their own rock samples and look at olivine sand from Ascension Island under a magnifying glass to identify lava grains and olivine grains.

This was an amazing opportunity for me to spend 1.5 hours talking to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience about one of my favourite things – volcanoes. The feedback and questions from the children (and some of the adults) were inspiring, with comments like “best lesson EVER”. I have been asked to go back and deliver the talk to next year’s Year 3.”