A Lesson In Minecraft!

At the end of the school summer term Andy took part in a local primary school ‘world of work day’ ….

The ‘world of work day’ was organised by a teacher named Fiona Rabone, a friend and ex-colleague (of our ex-employee) Julia Morgan (thanks Julia).  Andy packed up his granny trolley full of rocks and fossils and set up stall for the year 5 and year 6 students for two pre-lunch sessions.  The sessions were split into short themes which were ‘catch me out: see if you can name me something in your house where a geologist did not help in its production’ (to show how and why geology is important in our everyday lives), after which Andy showed them examples of where common raw materials come from (iron ore, smelly oil in a porous limestone).  Then, a challenge bit about ‘what do you know about rocks’ with examples of rocks that float (pumice), rocks you can see through (Iceland spar), to them voting for the naughtiest child / biggest comedian in the class to come forward to guess what the rock in his hand is (pyritised coprolite of course)…. finishing off with setting them a ten-question ‘who would make the best geologist’ test.

Andy was impressed with their level of knowledge, they knew more dinosaur names than he did of course, but part of the quiz was ‘name three types of rock’ and they were better than most first-year undergraduates, coming up with ‘diorite’ and ‘obsidian’…. clearly Key Stage 2 is more advanced than its equivalent was back in our day…. until his daughter pointed out that these are the basic components of Minecraft.  So, for the uniformed, ‘Diorite’ and ‘Obsidian’ are the ‘new’ Granite and Basalt.  But full marks for their ingenuity!

Here are some of the comments Fiona received:

“It was so interesting.

It was really fun.

He was the best visitor we had.

It made me change my mind about what I wanted to do.

He had lots of things for us to look at.

I loved it!

I wish he could come back again.

It was a good day but he was the best part.”

So…. this made us that amongst our technical discussions on which millions and more of dollars or pounds depend, we forget our roots, what makes geology such an attractive science to start with; at the bottom line the fun is all about sparkly crystals and dinosaurs….!

Thanks again to Fiona and Julia for putting him up to it all!