The Geography, Nexus and CSMS teams were thrilled to host the launch of our Raspberry Shake seismometer this week with Lucy Cotton from United Downs Deep Geothermal Power (UDDGP) project and Professor Iain Stewart, UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society, and Professor of Geoscience Communication at Plymouth University. The launch included a lecture given by Professor Iain Stewart on the ‘Science of Earthquakes’ and an overview of UDDGP from the Project Geologist Lucy Cotton.

Students were fascinated to hear world renowned geographer, Professor Stewart, talk about the global issues that surround plate tectonics.  Harry J, stated that “It was a brilliant lecture that highlighted elements of seismography that I will access at A-Level and beyond”.  Isla R and Nell C.R said that they were really interested to learn about the fault lines that cross Cornwall and how they are being used to generate geothermal energy.  Nell said that the data analysis of plate movement to predict future earthquakes was particularly interesting and she will be watching the news for earthquakes in Turkey.  Isla felt that it was important to recognise that many of the people working on the project and following PhDs in Geography and Environmental Sciences were women saying “Girls can do it just as well!”  From a future careers perspective it was also encouraging to hear about the growth of the energy sector in Cornwall and the social, economic and environmental impacts that it brings.

We are part of a group of nine secondary schools nearest to United Downs to have a Raspberry Shake seismometer installed at their premises which will bring geography and physics to life through real-time monitoring of seismic activity.  It will be fantastic over the coming months to share data with local schools and access data to monitor global seismic events, including some on our own doorstep.

Such experiences are an integral part of linking curriculum to careers and offer students valuable employer and academia encounters.  We are looking forward to our upcoming experiences with United Downs and Plymouth University as we continue to explore seismography and geothermal energy.