How Erratic is your Block
Geology Matters No. 7
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HOW ERRATIC IS YOUR BLOCK?
Schools Competition

Enda Gallagher

An example of an erratic

GSI is organising an unusual schools competition as part of the International Year of Planet Earth – 2008. The aim of the year is to promote the role that rocks all around us play in our everyday lives. For instance, the houses we live in mostly come from rocks, the oil that literally fires our lives comes from rocks and even the jewellery that helps make some of us more presentable also comes from rocks!

The competition, entitled “How erratic is your block?” is open to all students in Transition Year in the Republic of Ireland and GCSE students in Years 11 and 12 in Northern Ireland. Students are asked to identify an erratic (an out-of-place rock) to tell, in a short essay, where it is and how it got there. This could range from a fragment of a rock in a pebble dash wall to a displaced boulder on a mountainside.

€300 cash prizes will be awarded to the best entries from each of the 32 counties of Ireland and a top prize - the Maxwell Henry Close Award - of €1,000 will be awarded to the best overall entry. A number of special awards to other entries of exceptional high standard may also be awarded at the judges' discretion. All schools from which there is an entry will receive a geological wall map of Ireland. The school of the Maxwell Henry Close Award winner will also receive a prize of digital equipment to the value of €1,500.

The aim of the competition is to stimulate geological awareness among school pupils throughout Ireland and to encourage students to consider pursuing geoscience at third level. The competition closes on Friday 14th March 2008. This will be followed by a prize giving in May 2008, which will be hosted by Eamon Ryan, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The Irish Concrete Federation (ICF) and the Association of Geography Teachers of Ireland (AGTI) along with the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy are all proud supporters of this initiative.

For further details and how to enter see www.planetearth.ie/erratics. Rock on!

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