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Rose Hill pupils sample university life at St Edmund Hall

Monday, 8 August 2016

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Jon Wade talking to Rose Hill pupils about volcanoes
Jon Wade talking to Rose Hill pupils about volcanoes

As the busy exam season came to a close at the end of June, St Edmund Hall was host to a slightly younger group of students than usual. Pupils from Rose Hill Primary School were invited to the College to find out what life is like at university, with Earth Science themed activities and a tour of some of the Hall’s more unique features.

A seamount created with kinetic sand
Creating seamounts using kinetic sand

The group’s visit to the crypt underneath St Peter-in-the-East with College Chaplain Will Donaldson proved to be wildly popular with both students and staff. Lunch in the Wolfson Hall was also a highlight, with particularly high praise for the chocolate eclairs for dessert.

Activities were led by staff and students from the Department of Earth Science, introducing the pupils to a broad selection of topics including fossils, volcanoes, the geology of Mars and meteorites, with samples kindly loaned by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Jon Wade educated and entertained with a presentation on the science (and smell) of volcanoes. This was followed by a ‘build your own seamount’ activity using kinetic sand in the afternoon with Rebecca Morgan. James Moore, a College Lecturer, used meteorites from the Museum to teach the pupils about the interior of the planets.

Meteorites on loan from the Museum of Natural History
Meteorites on loan from the Museum of Natural History

The day culminated in a mini-graduation ceremony in the College Chapel with gifts for the students donated by James Slattery from Widening Participation. For many, this was an introduction to the concept of higher education as well as their first time inside an Oxford college. The children left excited about their future as they progress to secondary school, and better informed about the work that takes place across the University.

Rebecca Morgan (2010, Earth Sciences)