TCD’s Geology Department issues 60,000 Rock Samples as a Teaching Resource to Every School in Ireland
Posted on: 21 February 2008
Trinity College Dublin’s Department of Geology has put together sets of Six Common Kinds of Rock from Ireland and distributed them, free of charge, to nearly 5,000 schools in the country – primary and secondary, North and South. Over 60,000 rock samples (10 tons) have been distributed which is the equivalent of two skip fulls of rock.
The initiative which aims to encourage the study of rocks in schools through hands-on experience was co-ordinated by Dr Ian Sanders and his students at the Department of Geology. “It is hoped that this resource will inspire teachers and children alike to explore and understand the workings of the planet, especially in an era of fast depleting natural resources and an impending energy crisis,” commented Dr Ian Sanders.
“This project is
Each rock set contains at least two pieces each of six different kinds of rock (sandstone, mudstone, limestone, basalt, granite, and schist) which have been dabbed with a spot of coloured paint to help in their identification.
An accompanying booklet, authored by Dr Ian Sanders, explains their origin, and how they relate to
The project began in 2005 when a core component of geology was included for the first time in the new Leaving Certificate syllabus in geography. This change led to an urgent need to assist teachers who had few practical resources. At that time about 800 sets were sent to secondary schools in the Republic. Subsequently, a strong interest in rock sets came from the Primary Curriculum Support Programme in the South, and from many teachers in the North. This interest led to the ambitious goal of expanding the project five-fold to reach every school in
From the outset, the project has received positive encouragement from the Geoscience Committee of the
Six Common Kinds of Rock from Ireland was officially launched on Thursday 21st February at Trinity College Dublin, by Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.