GEOBUS visit 13th September 2013

Miss Ross very nicely booked the GEOBUS from St Andrew University to come along and put on a host of workshops.

Monitoring Volcanoes

The Monitoring Volcanoes workshop was by far the best out of all the workshops as it has an exciting experiment using party poppers and a cup. The party popper string was tied to a cup and we placed weights into the cup until the popper exploded, when it did it gave everyone at the table a fright and then people really started to get involved. The nice lady from St Andrews informed us how they predict an eruption by using seismographs and thermal imaging cameras. There were some really sensitive seismic readers and our motion in the class room was shown on a seismograph on the computer. There was also a thermal imaging camera and I was the lucky candidate for this. I had to rub my hands together to build up heat and then place them on my jumper.  The lady then sprayed some cold water on my hands and when I took my hands away there was nothing to see but when we looked at me through the camera I had two handprints on my jumper. The volcano we looked at was Mt Montserrat and how the town of Plymouth at the foot of the volcano prepared for the eruption.  Also what happened during the eruption and how St Andrews University was involved.

Scotland’s Climate

Scotland’s Climate was fun and informative as we did a range of activities. There was a puzzle to do on the two super-continents Pangaea (250 million years ago) and Rodinia (750 million years ago). This was a very difficult task as the puzzle shapes were very irregular and difficult to put together. We looked at some rocks to prove Scotland used to be a tropical place near the equator and then we looked at how Scotland’s hills were formed by glaciation. We also looked at tree ring dating and this proved that if tropical trees are found in fossil form then Scotland must have been tropical.

Fluvial Processes

We had tubs full of sand and we allowed water to run onto the sand to see if the water would recreate a river with meanders and other river features. We then went onto looking at erosion and rates of erosion and how it affected the towns and cities near rivers. We made our own river channel and placed plastic houses near the river to see if they were at risk.  If they were we then used anything we could get our hands on to protect the houses. We looked at hydraulic action and other processes of erosion.

This was a really fun activity and everyone there is very thankful to Miss Ross and the GEOBUS team.

-Dean Morrison (S4)

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