News details

Hands-on geology for schools

An idea developed some years ago was recently turned into a small success story. Motivated by the wide-spread lack of geological topics in high school curricula Christoph Spötl set up a plan to develop basic geological teaching materials for each of the districts of the Province of Tyrol. Which are the most important rock types forming prominent mountains in each district? Which fossils can pupils find when they explore their surroundings? Which ore minerals were mined in the past in this area? These were questions targeted by this project. Students were assigned to districts and their task was to select 16 relevant hand specimens of rocks, mineral deposits and/or fossils and provide an easy to understand companion booklet for the teacher describing not only the specimens but also providing information about recommended reading material, websites, museums, show mines and geologically interesting hiking tours. Sponsored by the Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences these eight collections were placed in wooden suitcases and officially handed over to the president of the state education authority (Landesschulrat) of Tyrol, Beate Palfrader, on February 25. The suitcases will be distributed in the eight districts and geography or biology teacher can borrow them and used them in their classes, hopefully igniting the curiosity of young people in rocks, minerals and the geological history of their homeland.

See also press release 1 and press release 2 (in German).