School of Earth and Environment

Earth and Environment Blog


The Environmental Studies Academy Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th January 2017

By Cara Healy, ES Academy Manager

Sixth form students and teachers from Elliot Hudson Sixth Form College, King Edwards VII School, QEGS AND Thomas Rotherham College attended the ES Academy outreach events held on the 11th and 12th January 2017.  They gained unique access to inspiring science sessions in the School of Earth and Environment (SEE) laboratories, where they learned about soils and invertebrates and were also given a briefing on the SEE’s research and the programmes of study we have to offer.

Students had the opportunity to learn hands-on in our school laboratories focused on two areas of environmental science. Both sessions used real (preserved) samples collected in the field over the previous months. Between laboratory sessions, students were treated to an inspiring talk by Postgraduate Research Student Matthew Grimshaw on ‘Gold Mining in the Klondike, Yukon, Canada’. The day was focused on key areas of the Environmental Studies A2-level curriculum but students attended with diverse scientific backgrounds, including geography and biology.

In the morning; students were divided into groups and studied the physical attributes of soils including investigating the colour, pH, texture, moisture and organic matter with Dr Phil Murphy and Kirk Handley in the SEE Level 7 Teaching Labs.


In the afternoon; students investigated preserved soil samples and analysed invertebrates with Dr Colin Pitts and Jane-Marie Stocks, the Laboratories Manager in the SEE Level 7 Teaching Labs.

All students and teachers had the opportunity to experience lectures given by environmental scientists in SEE such as Postgraduate Research Student Matthew Grimshaw and Dr Stephen Arnold talking about the interesting science they are exploring and what it is like to be an environmental scientist while highlighting Environmental Science course opportunities within SEE.

This was a very inspiring event and pupils and teachers expressed their gratitude at being invited to such an exciting occasion. We received lots of positive feedback from both students and teachers.

Teacher Clare Lucas from Elliot Hudson College said ‘we will bring Year 12 students to another ES Academy in future to educate them about Environmental Science before they begin UCAS applications’.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and some students said that they are considering studying with SEE in the future!


Thank you to everyone who was involved in running the ES Academy, in particular to student ambassadors Evie Cookson and George Crompton who assisted with practicals and in making the day an enjoyable and comfortable experience for all our visitors while helping the sixth form students understand what it is like being a student at the University.

This outreach event continues to build relationships with Schools, making the teachers aware of the rich undergraduate programmes we have here, and hopefully interesting the students in our science and to potentially study with us in the future.

As the organiser, I found the day to be really inspirational and I am extremely grateful to be involved in planning and coordinating such an important and exhilarating event.

Due to popularity; we are putting additional dates and running sessions back to back.

If you are a student or teacher with pupils interested in attending an upcoming Academy then please contact us.

Warm regards,

Cara Healy

There will be future ES Academy dates – the next ES Academy date will be held Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th July 2017.

Further information can be found here:

Contacts Dr Steven Dobbie (ES Academy Founder) and Mrs Cara Healy (ES Academy Manager)

This entry was posted in Events.

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