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Project Harrop: Schools Workshop on Flooding

The British Cartographic Society (BCS) has been delivering its successful Restless Earth workshop to secondary schools across the UK for over 6 years. The aim of Restless Earth is to introduce students to map reading and cartographic design skills using real world scenarios. This is becoming increasingly relevant as new changes in the UK Exam Boards’ Geography GCSE syllabuses sees ‘Cartographic Skills’ contribute up to 12% of the Key Geographic Skills element.

This year BCS have introduced a new scenario for Restless Earth, known as “Project Harrop”, based on the 2009 floods in Cumbria. BCS Corporate Members have supported the initiative, with the Royal School of Military Survey being instrumental in developing the scenario, and Ordnance Survey, British Geological Survey, Dennis Maps, Global Mapping and Sterling Geo providing advice, data and maps.

The workshop introduces the students to the problems caused by flood and the challenges faced by the recovery agencies and emergency services. Each student then has a series of tasks to complete in their own A4 workbook. These are based around the Geographic and Cartographic skills requirement of the UK Exam Boards syllabuses and include:

The workshop was run for the first time at Kirkbie Kendal School in February where it was delivered to 120 students. It received a positive response from both students and teachers, especially for the support given by the Royal School of Military Survey attending the day and explaining, from first-hand experience, the challenges met in this particular flood event.

Sterling Geo is happy to support the BCS educational initiatives; our contribution to this new workshop was to provide processed satellite data with accompanying explanatory annotations. Last year our team volunteered to run the existing Restless Earth workshop, based around the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, at Tywcross House School and we plan to support further initiatives in the future.

BCS is always keen to hear from new volunteers to attend the workshops especially those with a mapping or geospatial background. Your support would be greatly appreciated: to find out more visit the BCS website or email the Restless Earth Coordinator, Alice Gadney. Volunteering for Restless Earth Workshop is good for you too as it counts towards your CPD (4 points per day) as part of the RGS-IBG Chartered Geographer (GIS).

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