Rock-solid performance from pupils
TARMAC's Stancombe Quarry in Somerset recently opened its gates to pupils from Burnham Upper School in South Buckinghamshire after one pupil, 12-year-old Simon Hillier, won the top prize in a competition at the Tarmac co-sponsored Geologist's Association earth science event at the Brighton Conference Centre earlier this year.
The event was designed to show members of the public the impact geology has on everyday life, with Tarmac's exhibit concentrating on how geology affects the location and type of quarrying activities.
To enter the competition, children had to investigate different rocks and guess the number of chippings in a particular sample. As a result of his winning entry, Simon and his earth science classmates, together with three teachers, were invited on an escorted tour around Stancombe Quarry to see for themselves how a quarry works.
The group also learnt about crucial factors affecting quarrying including the environment, restoration, geology, laboratory testing and health and safety.
Geography teacher Trevor Cromwell said: 'It was great for the class to see at first-hand how important geology is to our lives today and how experts can identify, extract and refine different rocks for so many useful purposes.'
Eddie Bailey, Tarmac Southern's geological manager, added: 'We know how important these days out are to children's education and are very pleased to be involved. Who knows, maybe we have inspired the next generation of geologists!'