As part of TERRE’s aims and objectives the ESRs have been undertaking outreach activities, taking their enthusiasm for geotechnical research to young audiences.
TERRE’s most ambitious outreach project was the European Schools Competition – Sustainable Engineering Solutions to Our Changing Climate. In 2016, our ESRs went out into their local high schools and recruited teams of enthusiastic young learners to compete. Through interactive presentations and practical demonstrations the ESRs gave the pupils a solid grounding in low carbon geotechnical engineering principles. Sub-teams were drawn from schools in the Netherlands, Spain, Scotland and France and to encourage TERRE’s ethos of international cooperation, the sub-teams from different schools were paired up into teams. Their challenge? To solve one of a series of real-world geotechnical engineering problems using low-carbon techniques and materials!
You can access the Pupil Handout for more detailed information on the competition rules and the case studies used in the competition.
The posters submitted by all the teams displayed great innovation and imagination, plus a sound understanding of the principles involved – all great qualities in our future engineers!
In January 2018 the entry by team ‘Children of the Earth’, created by sub-teams from Anglet in France and Barcelona in Spain was announced as the winner. The winning pupils were:
Anglet sub-team: Bard Lucile, Redon Romane, Porto Laura, Duguet Lisa.
Barcelona sub-team: Selma Matabosch, Meritxell Mollà, Mirela Riba, Claudia Valarenzo, Elisenda Guixeras.
The Winning Poster successfully tackled the problem of creating a sustainable classroom using low-carbon materials.
In April 2018 the winning team was given the opportunity to attend a TERRE School event in the Netherlands, at TUD, Delft where they presented their poster to the gathered TERRE network. This also gave the winning sub-teams the chance to meet in person to share their success. Well done everyone!
In April 2017 the ESRs based at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde took part in Meet the Expert Sessions: 2017 Earth Day Special Edition, at Glasgow’s Science Centre.
The Session, part of a series of collaborations between the Glasgow Science Centre and STEM experts from across Scotland, provided an opportunity for members of the general public to interact with scientists from a broad range of STEM subjects. The day especially enabled children to develop and nurture their interests in the fields of STEM.
The TERRE ESRs offered hands-on demonstrations, successfully engaging the public with some fundamental concepts in geotechnical engineering and their impacts on the lives and future of the local people. The range of experiments on offer involved simple materials and concepts, designed in an attractive way, aimed to hook the attendees.
The familiar sight of sand castles, soil and mud drew children (of all ages!) to take part and get their hands dirty.
Regardless of age, our visitors went away enlightened about the significant messages the experiments demonstrated. And the ESRs had fun too.