The western regional heat of this year’s Schools Geology Challenge was hosted by Wells Cathedral School on 22 February. Four teams of young geologists from across the region each prepared a poster and a five-minute presentation entitled ‘The Geology of an iPad’. The teams also competed in a geological quiz, which consisted of a mixture of multiple choice questions, picture rounds and straightforward geological questions.
The competing schools were
- Wells Cathedral School
- Hereford Sixth Form College
- Cirencester College
- Bishop Wordsworth School and South Wiltshire Grammar School (joint entry).
This year’s judges were
- Victoria Edmonds, engineering geologist at Atkins, currently seconded to EDF
- Kate Bridges, engineering geologist and director at Structural Soils
- Mark Howson, director and consultant mining geologist at Mineral Resources Professional Limited
- Mike Addinall, young geoscientist officer for the Western Regional Group of the Geological Society and senior engineering geologist at Structural Soils.
The Best Poster award was given to Cirencester College’s team, whose use of 3D materials to illustrate the geological resources required to make an iPad was eye catching while the poster conveyed a detailed yet concise package of information.
The winning poster from Cirencester College
The judges commended the high standard of this year’s presentations. The teams each focused on a different geological aspect, ranging from the original formation of geological resources to resource exploration and extraction. They also explored the sometimes politically grey area of rare earth mineral exploration in central Africa, as well as the recycling of base metals and the potential for extra-terrestrial mineral exploration.
After an afternoon of strong competition, the team from Wells Cathedral School was declared the overall winner of the regional heat. The team’s eye-catching poster, strong and confident presentation, and broad geological knowledge led them to a narrow victory. The winning school was awarded a prize of £50 of book tokens and their choice of prizes, which were supplied by the event’s sponsors, Structural Soils and Envirolab.
Wells Cathedral School will now move through to the national final of the Schools Geology Challenge at Burlington House on 22 March 2018.
Wells Cathedral School’s team in action
Kate Bridges (right), Mike Addinall (middle) and Mark Howson (left) judge the teams’ posters
Hereford Sixth Form College’s poster
This year’s entry from Wells Cathedral School
Bishop Wordsworth School and South Wiltshire Grammar School’s poster
The Western Regional Group of the Geological Society would like to thank the judges and their respective companies for giving up their time to participate in the event and to Wells Cathedral School for providing a great venue. Without their help, the event could not have taken place.