Author: Nathan Akrill

350 secondary school students from six secondary schools in Dorset attended the very first Fossil Festival secondary school day hosted by the Thomas Hardye School on Thursday 3rd May 2012.

The Natural History Museum, Jurassic Coast Team and the Thomas Hardye School Fossil Club led 12 stands at the event where students from the Thomas Hardye, Wey Valley, Purbeck School, Parkstone Grammar, St. Edward’s and Swanage Middle Schools were able to visit a selection of stands and talk to the scientists. Students were pleasantly surprised at the opportunity to hold real pieces of Mars, prep fossils, digitally fly across the Dorset seabed, excavate dinosaur skulls and study the creatures we find on our shorelines. They were able to put their knowledge into practice and had the chance to talk to experts in various fields of science, as well as work on real projects and learn about local projects that are taking place now.

To add to all this excitement, there was a special skype link to Nabisunsa School in Uganda who were able to join in the day and see all the science the Natural History Museum had to offer via a big television screen.

Students, teachers, Natural History Museum staff and event organisers were also lucky to be part of the RELAYS ‘2,012 photographs for 2012’ project. Laura and Karen and other members of the RELAYS team are taking 2,012 photos of people of all ages at various events in the lead up to the Olympics, including the Earth Festival 2012, which will go on display at a big exhibition in Bath in the Autumn.

After school, the Thomas Hardye School then hosted a special Café Sci event in the evening. Prof. Chris Stringer from the National History Museum gave a talk on ‘the origin of our species’ to an audience of 120 – one of the most popular café sci’s to take place.

This event was so successful, things are already in the pipelines for running a similar event next year. We’d like to say a big thanks to our partners for making it happen!

Alexandria Potter, Education Coordinator

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