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Subject taster workshops

If you would like to book any of the workshops below please contact Sarah Coletta on

Volcanologists’ Fieldwork

This presentation shows you what it’s like to be a volcanologist working in the field, exploring what happens when a volcano erupts near where people live. You’ll see examples from the 2018 Kīlauea eruption in Hawai'i that destroyed 600+ houses, and from Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua where an active lava lake has been releasing poisonous gas for hundreds of years. You will learn about some of the tools which Earth scientists use to measure volcanic gas, and how we can use drones to get a better idea of how a volcano is erupting.
Suitable for KS3 - KS4 students.
Duration 30 minutes.

Mass Extinctions in Hyperthermal worlds

The living world was subjected to a number of rapid warming-driven mass extinctions during the late Palaeozoic-early Mesozoic (280-180 million years ago) that nearly extinguished animal life from the planet. Why was life pushed to the brink so often during this period of Earth history and what were the lasting effects, both evolutionary and ecologically, from these crises?
Suitable for KS3 - KS5 pupils. 
Duration 45 minutes.

Seeing Earthquakes from Space

Earthquakes are one of the most complex and dangerous geological hazards that we face. As more and more people live near fault lines, the chance for a disaster increases. Join Jack McGrath, a PhD student studying in the School of Earth and Environment, as we look at how we can use satellites to more about what causes earthquakes, how we can respond to an earthquake occurring, and how we can find out where might be at risk.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 students.
Duration 60 minutes.

Earthquake Location

Learn the techniques of earthquake location using real data from a seismic monitoring network in Turkey deployed as part of a research project led by Leeds University. We will use P and S-waves and you will pick the arrival times at the seismograms. From the difference in travel times of these waves you can obtain the source location of the earthquake. We bring all the materials – you just need to provide pencils, rulers and pairs of compasses.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 pupils.
Duration 60-90 minutes. 

How to Build a Magnetic Planet

This presentation explains how magnetic fields play a crucial role in protecting planet Earth and everyone living on it.  You will learn about the different magnetic fields in our solar system and why they are different. To do so we will embark on a journey from space to the deepest and most remote regions of the planets.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 students.
Duration 40 minutes.

Monitoring our hazardous planet from space

In the last twenty years, earthquakes have caused the deaths of nearly 1 million people and volcanic activity has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being evacuated from their homes. These events also cause major economic disruption, with aftereffects ranging from the destruction of buildings and infrastructure to airspace closures.
Earth scientists are at the forefront of international efforts to monitor our hazardous planet using satellites, and are now providing critical information to decision makers around the world so that they can prepare for, and quickly respond to earthquakes and eruptions. This lecture will demonstrate how satellites are used to monitor tiny ground movements with extraordinary accuracy and explain how understanding these movements can help us forecast where future earthquakes will occur and when volcanoes might erupt.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 students.
Duration 40 minutes.

The Plate Tectonics Puzzle

This presentation will describe how we can detect the motion, shape, and structure of tectonic plates.  You will learn about the different observations that fed into the development of plate tectonics, and how these continue to inform our understanding of planet Earth.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 students.
Duration 45 mins.

Listening to the Heartbeat of Volcanoes

This presentation gives an overview how active volcanoes are monitored with modern geophysical methods, and how volcanologists interpret the data in terms of volcanic processes. You will see several examples from Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat, West Indies, and even listen to volcanic tremors.
You will learn how researchers at Leeds University use these results to inform the Government about the state of volcanic activity and how they are able to warn the people of Montserrat about imminent eruptive activity.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 students.
Duration 60 minutes.

Moles in Holes: revealing animal habitats with geophysical surveys

This presentation explores how geophysical methods can be used to map the tunnels of burrowing animals, without ever disturbing their habitats. You will learn about how radar instruments can X-ray the ground, and shed some light on the subterranean worlds of moles and meerkats.
Suitable for KS4 - KS5 students.
Duration 40 minutes.

Students into Schools

Get undergraduate students more involved in your classroom by getting involved in our students into schools programme. Students typically spend 20 - 60 hours in the classroom; developing and delivering learning resources. Choose from the below programmes:
Geographers into teaching,
Earth and environmental sciences into schools.

Student ambassador Talks

Enthusiastic university students are great role models. If you’d like to help your students make sense of the many degree options available to students interested in Geography, Geology, Environmental Science, Geophysics, Sustainability and Environmental Management, then why not invite one of our student ambassadors to come and speak with them face-to-face? Our specially trained student ambassadors talk about their experience at university, and why they chose to study their subject.
Suitable for KS3 - KS5 pupils. 
Duration 40 minutes.