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Working Beyond Your Department: Opportunities for students

At the recent RGS-IBG ‘Leading Together’ conference for Heads of Geography, I spoke about the myriad of different opportunities available from different organisations that we can offer our students (mostly for free!). For me, this has always been an incredibly important part of my role and something that I thoroughly enjoy doing.

RGS-IBG Lectures (live events and also online)
For older students this is a key part of our extra-curricular offering - either attending the lectures in person or using my professional fellowship to access the Monday night lectures online. Where possible, we attend the termly school member lectures in person- finding that the students gain so much from visiting the RGS-IBG and experiencing a university style of learning through a lecture. However, in addition to this, through my own fellowship, I am able to access the Monday night lectures- of which so many are invaluable for going beyond the A-Level specification.

GeoBus from UCL
This is the fantastic outreach project from the Earth Scientists at UCL. They bring engaging hand-on sessions to schools that can cover climate change, earthquakes or volcanoes, to name a few! The sessions that they run for us have always been fantastic, leaving the students thoroughly inspired and motivated to pursue further study in geography. Whilst this is only available in and around London, it might be worth looking at your local university to see if they have anything similar available. More information

Polar scientist visits through the UK Polar Network
Through this outreach scheme, early career scientists who are part of the UK Polar Network volunteer to come into schools and speak about their research at the poles. More information

RGS-IBG Geography Ambassadors
Having been an RGS-IBG Geography Ambassador myself (a few years ago now!) this one is always a favourite of mine! Current university students, trained as Ambassadors, volunteer to visit schools to run sessions, speak about further study of geography or promote future careers in geography. There is a huge amount of flexibility in how the sessions are run so you can work with the Ambassador to meet the needs of your department and students. More information

The WildED Project run by Action for Conservation
This is a longer-term project and one that does take more commitment from both students and staff but the impact is huge! The WildED project sees students (we normally do it with around 30) take part in tailored workshops that built up to them undertaking their own conservation project. They then present this project at a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style final where several different schools come together and a huge amount of fun is had! More information

Kate Stockings FRGS, Hampstead School, London