Single Period Workshops

Single period workshops last approximately 50 minutes and can be run with up to 30 students. Please click on each workshop to reveal a description, and further information regarding classroom requirements.

If required, workshops can be linked together to provide a half day or full day session.

Climate Change

Climate Change: It’s happening, it’s us, it’s serious, it’s solvable.

Through a series of practical activities, pupils will learn about the impacts of CO<sub>2<\sub> on planet Earth, including changing ocean chemistry and albedo effects such as melting ice caps. This workshop can be extended to a double period to look at the science of climate change more fully – please indicate on your booking form that you would like this option and the GeoBus team will be in touch to discuss the specific aspects you would like to cover.


Year Group: S3- S6

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Biology, Environmental Science

Coring Through Time

coring_sqAs famous Scottish geologist James Hutton once said, “the present is the key to the past”. The geological record contains valuable information about Earth’s past, but large parts of it have been eroded away over time.

In this edible workshop, students will learn how we use a knowledge of the world around us to fill in the gaps and piece together geological stories, helping us to find valuable resources from water to precious minerals.


Year Group: S3- S6

Set-up time: 20 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. This session uses food products to illustrate different rock layers in a core – please inform us of any food allergies prior to our visit.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics

Fascinating Fossils

fossils_sqFossils provide and insight into the past, allowing palaeontologists to better understand both evolution, and environmental change through geological time.

During this workshop pupils, will have to opportunity to study a range of fossils in both hand specimen and under a microscope. The collection includes trilobites, ammonites and corals ranging in age from 10,000 to 520million years old.


Year Group: S1- S4

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. Sockets for plugging in the microscopes. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a room on the ground floor is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Biology

FUNdamentals of Rocks

FUN_sq-01These activities cover the identification and composition of the main rock types on Earth, and where those different rock types form. The session also provides the key information about why rocks are important in terms of Earth’s history and where Earth’s resources are found.

Students will use hand lenses to examine hand specimens of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks to note the differences between them and classify them by name.


Year Group: S1- S6

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Environmental Science

Earthquakes: Building Challenge

eq_buildIn the first part of this interactive workshop, students investigate the different types of waves involved in earthquakes, and look at some of the equipment used when monitoring earth movements, such as seismometers.

Using the knowledge gained from this, pupils then work in small groups to design and build a house, which is tested to see it if would withstand an earthquake.


Year Group: S1- S4

Set-up time: 25 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students, ideally with one large table for testing the buildings.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Science, Technology


As an extension to the activities carried out during this workshop, we have developed a pupil work booklet which reinforces the key learning concepts from the lesson. This can be filled in electronically, or printed off as an A5 booklet (note that two of the tasks involve sketching).

Earthquakes: pupil booklet

Earthquake: teachers booklet (with answers)

Geological Time

time2How do we know the Earth is 4.6 billion years old? When did life begin on Earth? In this session, students will explore the age of the Earth and find out how relative and radiometric dating techniques work.

Activities include identifying fossils, ordering a sequence of events (stratigraphy) and a demonstration of cloud chambers to see real time radioactive decay. Students will also study different half-life curves to see what their appliances to dating are.


Year Group: S3- S6

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space, preferably a cool/dark room, with desks for up to 30 students. Sockets for plugging in the cloud chambers.

Subjects: Geology, Science, Chemistry, Physics

Magic of Minerals: Identification

micro_identMinerals are the time capsules of the Earth. Not only do they provide insights into ancient landscapes and early life, they also provide us with key parts of the infrastructure of society – from mobile phones to diamond rings.

Pupils will use polarising microscopes to identify various minerals in specially prepared thin sections of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, and will be introduced to the range of geological techniques used to analyse and record them.


Year Group: S3- S6

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. Sockets for plugging in the microscopes. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Science, Chemistry, Physics

Magic of Minerals: Molecular Structure

min_structureMinerals are the time capsules of the Earth, influencing and responding to physical, chemical, and biological processes.

In this workshop the students start out by investigating different molecular structures and then grow their own crystals from different solutions, observing the crystal growth process using a polarising microscope. Pupils record visual observations of various crystals, and use the observed geometry to identify the crystal system.


Year Group: S3- S6

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. Sockets for plugging in the microscopes. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Science, Chemistry

Monitoring Volcanoes

volcThis interactive session gives students the chance to see what goes into volcano monitoring and prediction, using the work of our research team on the island of Montserrat as a case study.

Students run an experiment using party poppers to simulate a volcanic eruption. From the data gathered they form an evacuation plan, and the experiment is repeated to demonstrate how tricky it is to predict such volatile processes.


Year Group: S1- S4

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Science


As an extension to the activities carried out during this workshop, we have developed a pupil work booklet which reinforces the key learning concepts from the lesson. This can be filled in electronically, or printed off as an A5 booklet (note that two of the tasks involve sketching). A set of slides with key images is also available.

Volcanoes: pupil booklet

Volcanoes: teachers booklet (with answers)

Volcanoes: slides

 

Panning for Gold

panningThis hands-on session gives pupils a chance to discover what minerals are, and find out about their different uses in everyday life.

Students pan for minerals in buckets of sand, discovering that minerals are sorted due to size and density. They then identify the minerals they collect using hand lenses, and sort them according to various characteristics before learning about the uses of some of the main minerals and how important they are.


Year Group: S1- S2

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. Access to a sink. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Science

Scotland's Climate

climateClimate is a fundamental part of the Earth’s system and impacts everyone on the planet – from making (or breaking!) the perfect holiday to devastating entire cities and threatening entire species.

Through a series of practical experiments and demonstrations, students will be introduced to the physical aspects of Earth’s climate system and how Scotland’s Climate has changed over geological time. Temperature, precipitation, and environment will all be discussed, and the rock record will be investigated to yield clues about Scotland’s past.


Year Group: S3- S6

Set-up time: 30 minutes

Requirements: A classroom space with desks for up to 30 students. The equipment for this session is heavy, so a ground floor space is required if there is no lift in the school.

Subjects: Geology, Geography, Biology, Environmental Science

“It was fun and I learnt a lot of new information.
P.S. Wicked!”