News Students Study Sharks and Cutting Edge Technology 30.11.2023

Recently, first year Collyer’s Geology students joined Havant and South Downs College students at the Earth Science Department of the University of Portsmouth. The group examined fossil shark teeth, witnessed exciting cutting-edge technologies, and learned about Earth Science courses and careers.

Dr Ian Carr, Collyer’s Head of Geology and Assistant Director of the Science Faculty, explained: “It was a fantastic opportunity for students to visit a top university, take part in large range of activities, and meet staff and students from the department.”

Former Collyer’s A-level Geology student Tessa Collins welcomed the group, and course leader Dr Catherine Mottram introduced why studying Earth Science is so important, explaining the courses available at the University of Portsmouth, and the exciting careers possible in this field. The students then undertook a challenging mineral exploration exercise in a laboratory session led by Dr Dean Bullen, followed by a visit to Dr Andy Gibson’s engineering laboratory, where he demonstrated how minerals can be identified using cutting-edge high-tech probes.

Dr Carr added: “Students were also given a tour of the scanning electron microscopes and brand-new X-ray diffraction machines used to find the composition and ages of ancient rocks.”

Finally, Dr Anthony Butcher led a fascinating session on palaeontology where students sorted through a huge collection of fossil shark teeth, to identify different species of sharks.

Collyer’s Vice Principal (Curriculum) Dr Rob Hussey said: “Massive thanks to Collyer’s Ian Carr and Deborah McKail and everyone at the University of Portsmouth for making such a wonderful educational experience possible.”