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Showing posts from July, 2007

Goldsmith's Sustainable Development Course

Each year the Goldsmith's company pay for a number of Science for Society courses. This summer I was lucky enough to get a place on the Sustainable Development course held at Brunel University in Uxbridge. As I'm sat here trying to get ready for my Alpine trip on Saturday I thought I'd better get something down! Firstly, I was reassured to find that Secondary and University geography don't seem to be that far apart, at least when it comes to sustainability. I'm going to share what I thought were the interesting parts of the course in a little detail. I'm leaving out the lavish dinner at Goldsmith's Hall in London but needless to say that a good time was had by all! The week started by considering what we mean by sustainable development and whether it is actually possible. After the usual difficulty in defining what is meant by sustainable development the lecturer shared a great definition by the country of my birth Wales: 'We should treat the Earth a

iPod mic's

The latest addition to my iPod is this Micromemo microphone. The device plugs straight into the iPod dock and allows the user to record directly onto the iPod's memory. The small mic that is supplied works well for voice memo's if held fairly close to the mouth. This can be changed for other mics easily though. The small speaker is very quiet but does allow you to check that a recording has been made. The voice memo is saved as a WAV file and can easily be exported into a variety of applications. At around £20-30 this is a very useful tool for fieldwork and I am sure that I will discover many other applications. Thanks to a Think Tank colleague for the tip off!

Snowdon Summit Cafe Update

The 'freedom' of the hills! Sorry for the delay in this post! During May half term myself and a few friends visited Snowdonia National Park. We tackled the famous Snowdon Horseshoe via the north ridge of Crib Goch during the first day. The place was busier than Oxford Street during the Christmas sales! Anyway, when I finally got near to the summit of Wales' highest mountain I was surprised to see a couple of full sized mechanical diggers. The old cafe has been fully demolished now. I have to say that I didn't hang around long on the summit as between the pneumatic drilling and hundreds of people I headed off to the quieter Y Lliwedd. We spent the next day around Cnicht and didn't see a soul! The temporary offices and storage above the old summit station. There are a could of web resources linked to the building of the new cafe: a blog keeps you up-to-date with recent developments and has a photo gallery spanning the entire development this site has detail

Dorset Coast Pre-visit

Unconsolidated muds below Naish Holiday Village. As part of the department's plan to expand fieldwork opportunities I ventured to Barton on Sea and Hurst Castle Spit last week. The plan is to take Year 10's in order to investigate the interaction between people and physical landforms. I had hoped to upload some photos of the visit however Blogger seems to be playing up at the moment! Old chalet slabs on the cliff top. Naish Holiday Village We have chosen two sites to investigate. The first is at Highcliffe beach. This provides a classic coastal management case study where the effect of managed retreat can be seen under the Naish Holiday Park. This site also forms the boundary between two counties and councils. The second site will be Hurst Castle Spit. I feel it's very important to link any visit into the classroom both before and after. Therefore we shall be switching our coastal management case study from Lulworth Cove to Hurst Castle Spit. The visit will also be fo

Primary Project a sucess!

Over the last half term I have been running a project with one of our feeder primary schools. I initially contacted the school early in the autumn term. The project culminated this week with a Year 6 class giving their presentations to a gathered audience of parents, teachers and leadership. What has really surprised me is the high level of independent learning and activity shown by the class. In addition their ICT skills are good also. It has made me think that our Year 7 units, especially in the early part of the year, need a total overhaul! The project was based around comparing the environments of two different schools. The introduction PowerPoint can be found here . I deliberately ensured that the activity was open ended and not structured. I thought that additional structure could be put into place by teaching staff once the project was underway. I have provided a brief overview of the project here, but please feel free to contact me if you would like to know anything else. I

Pompey's dream but is it Portsmouth's nightmare?

I've put together some resources exploring the proposed developments at Portsmouth. The idea is a decision making exercise where groups of pupils will prepare a presentation for Portsmouth City Council. I will add more resources as my class works through the unit together with any evaluation and tips. This first link introduces the activity and allows the class to explore the idea. You'll need the Meon Valley OS map 1:25,000 (we use the free ones supplied by the OS) and a selection of news articles from . I find that the letters section of this paper is a great source of additional viewpoints! If you have trouble in selecting appropriate articles get in touch and I'll email you the links. The resources can be found here