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Department of Earth Sciences

Photo of students having a tour of the Sedgwick Museum

The Department of Earth Sciences hosted its first Sutton Trust Summer School on the 16th August. Year 12 students from across the country had the chance to experience studying the subject at Cambridge through an immersive week-long programme.

The Sutton Trust is an educational charity which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage.

The Department welcomed twenty-five students for a week of lectures, practical sessions and tours of the Sedgwick Museum and facilities in West Cambridge, including the British Antarctic Survey and Institute of Astronomy.

Topics covered included earthquake hazards and volcanology, planetary geology, paleontology and climate science. There was also a range of interactive activities throughout the week, including a session introducing natural hazards and community decision making using the board game HAZAGORA. Over at the British Antarctic Survey the students had a tour of the lab, and were able to hold four thousand-year-old ice and also meet the famous scientists who drilled the cores. Rob Theodore from the Sedgwick Museum led a tour of the collections and Liz Hide ran a session on urban geology (we didn’t have to go far in Cambridge to find stunning ammonites and belemnites in the Grand Arcade!). Morag Hunter and Simon Crowhurst led a practical class on deep sea sediments and postdoc Charlie Beard and PhD student Charlotte Gordon ran a practical on igneous petrology and economic geology.

We were also joined by a guest speaker, Dr Anjana Khatwa who is the engagement lead at Wessex Museums and an advocate for diversity in earth and environmental sciences.

The students also had the opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities like punting during their stay in Cambridge.

The photos below show some of the student’s highlights from the week. The summer school will be held annually and we are now looking forward to expanding the programme ahead of next year.