4,000 Primary Schools Receive Learning Tools as Part of TCD Geology Outreach Project

Posted on: 25 May 2010

Over 4,000 primary schools in Ireland, both North and South, have received activity booklets containing geological exercises and games as well as four large poster for display in the classroom as part of an educational outreach project co-ordinated by Dr Patrick Wyse Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Trinity College’s Department of Geology and Curator of TCD’s Geological Museum.  The objective of the project is to produce and distribute educational materials to encourage the study of geosciences at primary and secondary school level.  This project is the second phase of the outreach programme that saw rock samples distributed to almost 5,000 schools in the country in 2008.

A new website (www.geoschol.com) has also been set up which carries digital versions of the geosciences resources as well as links to geology institutions and educational sites.  The posters that each of the schools will receive describe different geological areas of interest such as the structure of the Earth, the various uses of different rocks and minerals, illustrations of some of Ireland’s building stones and a geological history of Ireland.  These posters, which were designed by Dr Patrick Wyse Jackson and Dr Adam Stuart Smith, a research associate who worked on the project, can be freely downloaded from this site and offer children a measuring chart that will allow them to travel through geological time as they grow.

The first phase of the educational outreach programme, Six Common Kinds of Rock from Ireland, was coordinated by TCD’s Dr Ian Sanders and launched in February 2008.  Dr Sanders also authored a booklet to accompany the rock sets explaining their origin and how they relate to Ireland’s geological past.  Leaflets describing the geology of each county in Ireland are available from the Geoschol website and to complement the programme a book titled The Geology of Ireland: County by County has been distributed to county libraries and museums across the country.

These educational outreach projects are supported by Geoschol which was funded by the Griffith Awards at the Geological Survey of Ireland and involved a consortium of the Geological Museum in TCD, the National Museum of Ireland and the Ulster Museum.