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Public engagement

We study all aspects of the history of the Earth and of life, how the Earth, oceans, and atmospheres work, and economic and applied aspects of resources and hazards. We are all keen to engage with children and the public in general about our subjects. We especially invite teachers to contact us if they are interested in a session on subjects such as Geological time, Dinosaurs, Volcanoes, Volcanic hazards, Structure of the Earth, Plate tectonics, Geophysics, Climate change, and Economic geology. We are happy to speak to children of all ages, from 5 to 18, or even 100. Contact us by emailing earth-enquiries@bristol.ac.uk.

We are regularly involved in outreach and public engagement activities for adults and children. These take the form of public lectures and exhibitions (including activities for Science Week) sometimes in collaboration with Bristol City Museum. We frequently speak in schools, partner with schools, and participate in open days and widening participation activities.

The British Geological Survey's (BGS) Seismology for Schools Project enables schools to detect signals from large earthquakes happening anywhere in the world using a basic seismometer installed in their own grounds, providing students with a unique opportunity to see the sort of data that research seismologists deal with on a daily basis.  Here at Bristol we have been successful in obtaining funds from the Royal Astronomical Society to purchase seismometers for installation around schools in SW England as part of the BGS's project.  We also deliver outreach workshops to schools that show how the things they are learning in class relate to the life of a research scientist.

The School of Earth Sciences also uses the web as a means of engaging with the wider public and in making good-quality teaching materials available to educators. Below is a list of resources.

  • Your Planet Earth - a resource for teachers and others communicating Earth science topics to pupils aged 14-15, developed in the School and launched by the Geologists Association and the Geological Society.
  • The Bristol Dinosaur Project - all about Thecodontosaurus, a real dinosaur from Bristol, with palaeontology resource packs for Key Stages 1-4. The Bristol Dinosaur Project received substantial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and it has won several regional and national awards. 

UK School Seismology Project

The school seismology project enables schools to detect signals from large earthquakes happening anywhere in the world.

UK School Seismology Project

The Bristol Dinosaur Project

Palaeontology resource packs for Key Stages 1-4 on Thecodontosaurus, a real dinosaur from Bristol. Find out more about the Bristol Dinosaur Project.

Engaging with schools