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  • UCL GeoBus at the Grant Museum

    By Nicholas J Booth, on 2 June 2016

    For one day during the Easter holidays, the Grant Museum was taken over by the GeoBus, a new and exciting outreach project from UCL Earth Sciences and coming to schools all across London soon.

    Making fossil casts for visitors to take home with them.

    Making fossil casts for visitors to take home with them.

    GeoBus as a concept started out at St Andrews University back in 2011, the brainchild of Dr Ruth Robinson. The main idea behind the project was to create a bridge between schools, higher education institutes and industry, to show how Earth Science is cross curricular and to include current research in fun and exciting workshops visiting schools. GeoBus UCL is about to launch and we decided to give the public a taster of what might be on offer.

    Visitors trying out 3D images of Mars.

    Visitors trying out 3D images of Mars.

    From doors open we had a great stream of guests trying their hand at a number of different activities. There was plenty on hand to keep visitors entertained including the entirety of the Grant museum itself, with its many wonderful displays. Most visitors started with the fossil hunt around the museum, which was a great way to work round the exhibits and tied in nicely with the Earth Science theme of the day.

    Grant Museum Learning and Access Officer Dean Veall testing the earth quake resistance of different structures.

    Grant Museum Learning and Access Officer Dean Veall testing the earth quake resistance of different structures.

    In the central space of the museum we had tables laden with different GeoBus taster sessions. There was the volcanic station, where you could have a go at predicting eruptions with the aid of party poppers and historic eruption data. An area to build earthquake-proof structures and a shake table to test them sought out to find the next generation of structural engineers and architects (with adults seeming to be more competitive than the kids!). With 3D glasses you could view the alien landscapes of Mars without even having to leave the comfort of your chair. And finally, learning about fossils and having a go at casting your own ammonite or trilobite to take home, a messy but thoroughly popular activity. All of these and more will be available to London schools for free through the new GeoBus project, run out of the Earth Science department here at UCL.

    Charlotte Pike helping visitors predict volcanic eruptions.

    Charlotte Pike helping visitors predict volcanic eruptions.

    Overall, the day was a great success with lots of interest in the new project which is exactly what we wanted. Many thanks to everyone who came along and test ran the activities and huge thanks to the museum staff for all their help and who made the day run so smoothly.

    For more information about the GeoBus project please email Charlotte Pike at geobus@ucl.ac.uk

    Charlotte Pike is Outreach and Impact Leader for UCL Earth Sciences.

     

     

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