GeoBus teaching packages cover broad areas of Earth science and are aimed at supporting STEM subject teaching generally, as well as highlighting career opportunities in Earth Science and other STEM subjects.
Our fundamental aim is to engage with pupils to enhance their understanding of Earth Science, and provide resources and support to teachers across the UK whose main subject may not be geology. Initially the project focussed on visiting schools in person to deliver workshops, but as the reputation of the project spread and demand increased lesson packages have also been adapted to be available online for teachers to deliver. All of the GeoBus teaching packages are based around hands-on and interactive learning, and all the resources involved in the activities are brought to the school or can be easily obtained or borrowed from GeoBus.
The project is coordinated by Dr Jen Brooke and Dr Nicky Horsburgh, and activities are delivered by the GeoBus team along with undergraduates from the University of St Andrews. GeoBus was developed by geologist Dr Ruth Robinson, who maintains an active interest in the project, and the team work closely with the Director of Impact and Outreach in the School of Earth Science, Dr Claire Cousins, to facilitate opportunities for all staff members to share their research interests.
Meet the GeoBus Team
Jen graduated from The University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Geology, before studying the movement of hydrogen in minerals in the deep Earth for her PhD, which she also undertook at the University of Edinburgh. Jen coordinates visits to schools, liaises with teachers, co-teaches the workshops and develops materials. She also manages the team of enthusiastic GeoBus volunteers.
A PhD graduate of the University of St Andrews with extensive industry experience, Nicky works on applied science and engineering geology topics and has a keen interest in earth science solutions to real world problems. Nicky liaises with industry, co-teaches the workshops, oversees fieldwork and develops materials. She has a particular interest in adapting materials to be suitable for younger children.
Ruth is an honourary lecturer in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences. She has a BSc in Geology from the City University of New York (1992) and a PhD from Penn State University (1997). She founded GeoBus in 2021 and is still keenly interested in the activities carried out by the team. Her particular research interests are in non-marine sedimentary systems and geochronology.
Claire is a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences. She is Co-PI of the Geobiology Laboratory and a member of the St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science. Her research interests include robotic exploration of Mars, constraining the habitability of extraterrestrial environments, and understanding how biomarkers are preserved in the rock record.