GeoSciences in schools
GeoSciences students are helping local schools to deliver teaching on complex subjects such as climate change.
Over the last decade, 4th year Geosciences Outreach students have been working closely with local schools to develop resources to address particular curricular problems or needs.
Teachers in both primary and secondary schools will sometimes ask for help to deliver a particular part of the curriculum where new perspectives can help pupils learn more effectively.
Our students then work closely with the teacher to develop resources which will give pupils a better understanding of that subject. The students will often come in to the classroom to deliver the lesson, and the teaching materials which have been developed are then left with the school to be used as a legacy for both teachers and pupils.
I would like to thank you for the wonderful student that you assigned to us. He worked extremely hard and showed great understanding of the needs of our children, producing creative activities that fully engaged them. We now have a resource that we can use for years to come.
Benefits to schools and students
The partnerships between students and local schools have proven to be very effective in developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding across a range of topics, such as climate change and air pollution. This is especially the case where knowledge of a particular topic is constantly evolving and where it can be difficult to keep up with the latest research. Given the nature of some of the topics covered, this collaboration has been useful to school staff implementing Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL) in the Curriculum for Excellence.
The process of both developing and delivering appropriate materials for schools gives the students hands-on workplace experience and the opportunity to gain skills such as science communication whilst gaining academic credit - an opportunity that many may not have had previously in their degree programmes.
The link-up between students and local schools has led to establishing lasting relationships, with the same schools working with new students year after year.
I definitely feel more confident about life after graduating with the skills I have learned. And It has been good to take my learning out into the community and give something back.
Share our resources
In recent years the School of GeoSciences has encouraged students to develop their materials for schools as Open Educational Resources (OERs), available to everyone. These can be downloaded from http://open.ed.ac.uk/ or other websites such as TES connect https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources and used by teachers across the UK and internationally, potentially benefiting schools worldwide.