Events / News

Earth Science in our Lives – Earth Science Week 2018

Earth Science Week is an annual international celebration of the geology all around us. Coordinated by the American Geosciences Institute in the US, and the Geological Society in the UK and Ireland, the week now also takes place in an increasing number of countries worldwide.

2018’s Earth Science Week was bigger than ever! This year, our theme was ‘Earth science in our lives’ – to mark our Year of Resources, we highlighted the ways in which geology affects our lives through everyday objects, possessions, products and services, in the home and further afield – often in ways we don’t expect.

Here are just some of the ways we celebrated the week:

School resource packs

150 schools around the UK and Ireland received our specially curated resource packs, which included our new poster ‘Minerals in a Smartphone.’ Did you know the average smartphone uses 75 out of the 81 stable elements in the periodic table?



‘A stroll along the prom’ in Swansea, led by Tony White

Whether based in the city or the countryside, geology walks took place across the country! In London, Matt Loader led a tour of the City of London’s building stones and pubs; the North West Highlands Geopark led tours of the spectacular geology of the Scottish Highlands; the Mendips Rocks! Festival led visitors on tours through quarries and coal fields; geologist Tony White guided ‘a stroll along the prom’ in Swansea; the London Geodiversity Partnership led a geotrail along the Thames Path and the Dinosaur Isle Museum on the Isle of Wight led a guided fossil and geology walk at Yaverland Beach.

School events

The Geological Society held a workshop for 6th form students on the topic of ‘Earth science in our lives’ – students took part in an urban geology field trip around Piccadilly and a mineral exploration session, where they learned how geologists search for and extract important minerals. After this, they competed against each other in teams to win a $100 million bid to construct a (fictional) copper mine!

Students at our Earth Science Week schools event

Elsewhere, the Dinosaur Isle Museum on the Isle of Wight held an Earth Science Day aimed at Primary Schools, which saw around 240 students take part in a huge range of activities, whilst Charlotte Bishop from the Society’s Remote Sensing Group visited a school in Belfast to talk about satellite technology and how it impacts geology.

‘Satellite Top Trumps’ by Charlotte Bishop in Belfast

Public Talks

A huge number of public talks took place during the week, ranging from a public lecture at the Geological Society on the future of plate tectonics to a children’s talk about local geology in Tenbury Library, organised by Science from the Start.

Family friend plesiosaurs talk by Dean Lomax at Manchester Museum

Meanwhile, our North West Regional Group organised a talk by Dean Lomax on plesiosaurs and our Northern Regional Group held an evening lecture on ‘Mineral Resources in our Shopping Basket’.

Family days

Family fun days took place across the country to celebrate Earth Science Week. In the South West, the Sidmouth Science Festival held a ‘Shake, Rattle & Rocks’ open day, whilst Museum Wales held a Super Science Saturday, the Dinosaur Isle Museum explored 100 million years of Bay wildlife with their ‘Discovery Bay!’ open day and the Mendip Rocks! Festival held a family day at Ebbor Gorge.

‘Discovery Bay!’ at the Dinosaur Isle Museum

Museums and Science Centres

More museums than ever took part in Earth Science Week this year – as well as Museum Wales and the Dinosaur Isle Museum (read more about their activities here!), National Museums Scotland held an Earth science themed Science Saturday, the Lapworth Museum in Birmingham hosted a lunchtime talk on ‘Livings made from the Earth’, whilst the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge held a Collection Snapshots event, taking visitors on an exclusive after hours gallery visit.

‘Planktonic Pioneers’ at the Natural History Museum

In Edinburgh, Dynamic Earth held a huge range of events, including ‘Meet the Glaciologist’, ‘Operation Earth and an opportunity to find out more about minerals and gemstones. In London, the Natural History Museum hosted a Nature Live event all about planktonic foraminifera – microscopic marine organisms that can help us understand our changing climate.

The Earth Science Week photography competition

As ever, our annual photography competition received a huge number of entries – many thanks to everyone who took part! The twelve winners can be viewed here, and also feature in The Guardian.

All twelve feature in our limited edition 2019 calendar, ‘Earth Science in our Lives’, which can be purchased online or at Burlington House – get one while stocks last!


Earth Science Week takes place worldwide – a huge range of events took place in the US, organised by the American Geosciences Institute.

In addition, this year saw the first Earth Science Week events in Japan, as well as events including an exhibition on ‘Man and Stone’ organised by Jeevidha, an NGO working in environmental awareness and conservation in Pune, India.

Earth Science Week in Pune, India

And more!

This is just a small selection of the range of events that took place – Earth Science Week 2018 also featured craft workshops, exhibitions in art galleries, museums and libraries, mineral and fossil fairs, field trips and geoconservation days.

You can see the full timetable on our website – if you hosted an event this year we don’t know about, or would like to organise one next year, get in touch! Leave us a comment below, or email[at]

Save the date

Next year’s Earth Science Week in the UK & Ireland is taking place 12-20 October – stay tuned for more details!

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