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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Secondary schools and colleges

A secondary school student conducting a model volcano experiment at the University
Secondary school pupils can get hands-on with experiments at the University.

Our activities, specially designed for secondary school and college students, will ignite a passion for science and the study of our world.

We offer a range of guest lectures on various topics, each designed to get everyone from those starting life in secondary school, to those gearing up for their GCSEs or A-levels thinking about and understanding the world around them.

Alongside this, we run a series of activities that provide a great opportunity for secondary school and college pupils to connect with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. To organise guest lectures or activities for your school, please get in touch.

Earth Science Matters

'Earth Science Matters' is a bespoke day to show how A Level maths and physics are both applicable and essential to the study of the earth and the environment.

The day will be led by academic staff within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, who will use their expertise to deliver lectures and hands-on sessions for students in the subject.

Students will be required to submit individual applications to participate in the day.

In our degrees in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, students apply their physics and maths skills by studying how the Earth formed and evolved, the processes controlling weather, climate and pollution, as well as the physics of geological process such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Our graduates possess a highly desirable skillset thanks to experience gained working on international field courses and research projects, ensuring excellent graduate employability.

Dates and information

The event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 20 November 2019.

If you would like to receive more information about the day, please complete the following survey:

Further information will be published on this page in due course. Please email earth.outreach@manchester.ac.uk with any queries in the meantime.

Global Warming

The Global Warming activity is suitable as a focal point for visits to campus, for school workshops and science fairs.  It produces carbon dioxide through reaction of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate in a water solution, then channels the gas into a transparent bottle.  An infra-red lamp illuminates the bottle and a digital thermometer records the increased temperature due to carbon dioxide absorption of radiation.  It frames the science learnt in lessons in a clear and simple experiment that aids understanding.  Discussion about the science, related university study and careers, environmental consequences and politics naturally follow, facilitated by the university scientist but driven by the students.  Risk assessments are produced and verified for every activity.

Contact Dr Simon O'Meara with questions or to arrange a visit to your school/college or a visit to campus: simon.omeara@manchester.ac.uk.

Plate Tectonics and Big Explosions

Years 7 to 11

This hands-on activity for students studying science or geography explores the basic theory of plate tectonics and focuses on where and how volcanoes are formed. Students will look at different types of volcanoes and handle different types of volcanic rock from around the world.

The sessions can accommodate 30 students and are available by prior arrangement.

Plate Tectonics and Big Waves

Years 7 to 11

This hands-on activity for students studying science or geography explores the basic theory of plate tectonics and focuses on how plates move and the how seismic waves travel around the globe. Students will look at factors affecting the amount of damage caused by earthquakes.

The sessions can accommodate 30 students and are available by prior arrangement.

Moon Rocks for Real

Years 8 to 11

Addressing the National Curriculum for Science at KS3, and GCSE Science at KS4, this activity aims to dismiss myths about space travel and find out what has been learned from space exploration.

Students will see real moon rocks and meteorites and try some hands-on activities.

Earth Experience

Year 12

An introductory day for geology and geography A-level students considering studying in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The day combines practical sessions with lectures, covering both current issues in the discipline - climate change and groundwater contamination - and traditional topics within Earth science, such as mineralogy, palaeontology and rock deformation. Lunch is provided and the day gives students the opportunity to meet with staff from the Department.

There will be three sessions in the summer term, with 40 places available each day.

Big Waves

Years 12 and 13

An interesting enrichment activity for students studying A-levels in geography or geology; Big Waves is based around the science of earthquakes and tsunamis. Students use real seismographic data to locate the epicentre of an earthquake and model the resulting wave, before investigating how the impact of this natural hazard can be lessened.

The sessions can accommodate 30 students and are available by arrangement.