impact: outreach

The STELAR team has a keen interest in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, and in promoting a broader understanding of the importance of large rivers and their susceptibility to environmental change to the general public. This section of the web site will provide links to learning resources for teachers, as well as other materials to capture your imagination. Please do contact us if you would like us to visit you to talk about our work.

Teaching local schools about our STELAR work

Julian explaining to local school children what we're studying.

During our October/November field campaign in 2013, a group of local school children were invited aboard our research vessel to learn about the work we were carrying out on the Mekong. Dr Julian Leyland and Prof. Dan Parsons taught the group about the equipment we were using, what data we are collecting and how we are going to use the data to tell us about the way the Mekong river behaves. The group also got some hands-on experience of collecting data themselves as they collected a group laser scan using the Terrestrial Laser Scanner.

Closer to home, Dr Julian Leyland recently visitied a local secondary school, Bryanston School, to give a talk to A-Level geography students thinking about heading to university. Julian engaged the group in discussions and hands-on practicals based around the STELAR fieldwork, hoping to inspire the next generation of geography undergraduates.

STELAR team inspire next generation of your scientists in partnership with RGS-IGB

Each year the Royal Geographical Society awards bursaries to support first year university geography students to work as fieldwork apprentices on overseas fieldwork. These apprenticeships offer an excellent way to engage students in cutting edge research and expose the next generation of scientists to academic fieldwork. The STELAR-S2S team were lucky enough to be awarded two such apprenticeships during the September fieldwork campaign, 2013. Eleanore Heasley (Southampton) and Richard Campion (Hull) joined the team for the three week fieldwork campaign. Menotred by Steve Darby and Dan Parsons, respecitvely, Eleanore and Richard gained hands-on experience using sophisticated surveying equipment, including Multi-Beam Echo Sounders and acoustic Doppler current profilers whilst experienced first-hand the intenisity of extensive fieldwork campaigns in challenging environments. Both Eleanore and Richard became important members of the fieldwork team and made significant contributions to the success of the fieldwork and the project over all. But do not just take our words for it, after the fieldwork, Elearnore said

"It was exciting to experience working with such a variety of equipment as well as being part of a dynamic team...I am now even more enthused about geomorphology. It was by far the best experience of my life and I am so glad I had this opportunity."

Whilst Richard said

"The first major highlight was the chance to be part of a skilled research team conducting 'real-life' research. Secondly, it served up a fabulous opportunity to visit new surroundings. Finally, and above everything, this trip allowed the chance to make new friends, and added an extra dimension of 'life experience' that I would not have savoured had I not applied for the apprenticeship."

You can find out more about Eleanore and Richard's experiences with the STELAR-S2S team by reading their post-trip reports on the RGS website. Richard operating the MBES and Eleanore helping to set up the dGPS.