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Schools Activities
UNESCO Global Geopark

Schools Activities

An island in two halves - Unst Geology

Geopark Shetland teamed up for a second successful project with Baltasound Junior High School and Anderson High School to discover why Unst is 'an island in two halves'. This year S1 and 2 pupils spent two days exploring the natural and cultural heritage of Unst.

Exploring the properties of soapstones. Copyright Robina Barton Exploring the properties of soapstones. Copyright Robina Barton Zoom The field trip was based around "The Shetland ophiolite", the second in Geopark Shetland's series of self-guide trails. It tells the story of how the rocks of Unst formed when a stranded section of ocean crust was thrust onto an ancient continent during a massive collision some 420 million years ago. As in 2010, staff from both schools were supported by Geopark Shetland's Geology Project Officer and Shetland Amenity Trust's North Shetland Ranger.

In preparation for the trip, pupils spent time in the classroom getting to grips with some challenging geological concepts including continental drift and ocean crust formation. The aim of the field activities was to discover how the varied geology of the island - continental crust in the west and oceanic crust in the east - has influenced the landscape, biodiversity and even human activity.

Four groups of pupils each investigated a specific area of Unst through exploration, observation, experimentation and discussion. They developed on-site presentations to communicate what they had discovered to the other groups before spending time 'in the studio' developing short podcasts about their experiences which are linked to Google map of the area.

View podcasts

Pupils gain John Muir Award

Pupils from Anderson High School receive their John Muir Awards.  Copyright Keith Turner Pupils from Anderson High School receive their John Muir Awards. Copyright Keith Turner Zoom Following the successful Northmavine Geology Project, pupils from Anderson High School and Baltasound Junior High School were presented with John Muir Discovery Level Awards in September 2010.

The awards commemorated the hard work and enthusiasm that the young people showed during a two day field trip to Eshaness in May. The initiative brought together pupils and staff from both schools, together with representatives from Geopark Shetland and Shetland Amenity Trust's Ranger Service, to discover and explore the volcanic landscape of the Eshaness Peninsula.

The partnership represented the first time either school had used the John Muir Award to support the delivery of curricular content in Science and Social Studies. It was also the beginning of a process to develop educational materials to accompany 'Shetland's Volcano', the self-guide trail produced by Geopark Shetland.

The work the pupils conducted was made into a series of posters highlighting the importance of our geological heritage and the need to conserve it. The posters have been on display in the Shetland Museum and the Braewick Cafe, as well as the two schools involved.

Pupils from Baltasound Junior High School receive their John Muir Awards. Copyright Emily Tulloch Pupils from Baltasound Junior High School receive their John Muir Awards. Copyright Emily Tulloch Zoom They are available to download below.

Stenness - its volcanic and human past

Braewick - sun, sea and stones!

Eshaness - inside Shetland's volcano

 

 

 

Pupils at Grind o da Navir. Copyright Emily tulloch Pupils at Grind o da Navir. Copyright Emily tulloch Zoom Northmavine Geology

Geopark Shetland has been working with Baltasound Junior High School and Anderson High School on a project about plate tectonics and volcanics. This cross-curricular project culminated in a two day field trip exploring the volcanic coast of Eshaness - one of the highest energy coastlines in the world!

The field trip was based around "Shetland's Volcano", the first in a series of self-guide trails developed by Geopark Shetland. A broad range of challenges were set up to encourage pupils to explore in depth the volcanic landscape of Northmavine. During the trip they were supported by Geopark Shetland's Geology Project Officer and Shetland Amenity Trust's North Shetland Ranger.

Pupils began by learning about the main types of rock and then progressed to thinking about the formation of individual parts of the landscape in Northmavine. Activities included scientific investigation, group discussion, and even beach art! They then explored themes of Citizenship and Sustainability as they considered the best means of conserving our geological heritage, and the economic importance of Shetland's geology as part of a growing tourist industry. In addition the overnight stay provided an opportunity to expand pupil experiences of independent living as they work towards an ASDAN module.

Baltasound Junior High School secured a Royal Society Partnership Grant to allow them to take part in this project.

Baltasound Junior High School. Copyright Emily Tulloch Baltasound Junior High School. Copyright Emily Tulloch Zoom What they said...

"Epic!" David S2

"That was actual good fun!" girl from Class S2B

"Thanks for the opportunity, the teamwork and the laugh" Mr Turner AHS

 

 

 

Earthquake Watch at Anderson High School

Class 2B with the seismic data from the Chilean earthquake. Copyright Keith Turner Class 2B with the seismic data from the Chilean earthquake. Copyright Keith Turner Zoom The Anderson High School (AHS) in Lerwick is a participant in the UK Schools Seismology Project.

The project supplies schools with free training and equipment to allow them to monitor earthquake activity around the world. As a result, AHS now houses a functioning seismometer, capable of detecting global events greater than a 6.5 magnitude. The seismometer can also detect smaller events closer to home. The data gathered are helping to invigorate teaching and learning in a range of courses within the school. Local primary school pupils have also been introduced to the work of the seismometer and shown the data that it is collecting. This is just one of the exciting ways that schools in Geopark Shetland are working to highlight Earth Science to young people.

For more information contact Keith Turner. (keithturner@shetland.gov.uk) Mr Turner is a Teacher of Geography at AHS and is the education representative on the Geopark Shetland Working Group.

For information on the UK project visit the British Geological Survey