Two children inspecting rock samples and passing one to each other

About the workshop

A hands-on KS1-KS3 workshop, lasting approximately 60 minutes, about the importance of a single STEM subject (geology) and a demonstration of all that can be learned from digging down to explore the strata of the earth underneath us. When run at The Common Room we also have a display of a wide range of geological samples made available for this workshop.

Students will learn about the carboniferous period, the creation of coal and fossil fuels and plate tectonics as part of the story of the planet Earth, and the importance of moving away from fossil fuels as we tackle climate change.

Two children focusing intently

They will learn about the importance of the North of England in the history of the UK and its industry. The dangers of mining, and the Mining Institute’s purpose of making mining safer leads into a discussion of the science of geology and an activity centred around manual handling and discussion of different rock and mineral samples. Students will learn skills focused around observation, discussion and classification.

Child making notes over a rock and scale, supported by an adult volunteer

Within our collection, The Common Room has a wealth of geological specimens and archival material which show the geological strata of the Great Northern Coal Field. Students will get hands on with these samples.

Students will come out of this workshop with an appreciation of local STEM history, the importance of geology and a clearer understanding of the world around them, especially beneath their feet.

Learning Outcomes

  • Inform students of local STEM heritage and its impact
  • Teach and practice techniques of scientific investigation
  • Provide a grounding in basic concepts of geology and physical geography