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TV rocks star Iain is a hit with pupils

Source:http://www.globalgeopark.org Source:www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk Published:Oct 27,2008


TV geology star Prof Iain Stewart has been impressing Torquay school pupils.

And they have been showing off their skills to him as well.

The presenter of the BBC series Earth β€” Power of the Planet has visited both Torquay grammar schools recently.

Students from Torquay Grammar School for Girls were so keen on the subject, they all wanted Prof Iain Stewart's autograph and to have their photograph taken with him.

Prof Stewart, from the Department of Geosciences at Plymouth University, who is patron of the English Riviera Geopark, also thanked four students from the Torquay Boys' Grammar School in person for acting as 'ambassadors' for the geopark.

Earlier in the year the boys travelled to Osnabruck, Germany, for the third Global Geopark Conference.

The conference was preceded by the first Global Geoparks Fair where, along with the chairman of the English Riviera Geopark, Nick Powe, and Geopark coordinator Mel Border, the boys did an excellent job of promoting the Bay geopark.

They also delivered a special presentation to experts from around the world at the conference itself which gave them the opportunity to express what the geopark means to them.

Mel said: "We are really proud of the boys and their fantastic work. They presented the geopark with professionalism and true cosmopolitan style."

All of their hard work leading up to the conference was done in their own time and included the creation of a film entitled Meet your Geopark, which shows the boys enjoying and exploring geologically important sites such as Goodrington Sands at Paignton and Kents Cavern in Torquay. It is hoped the boys will work on extending their film to include other aspects of the geopark and there may even be the opportunity for a special cameo appearance from Prof Stewart himself.

Once completed, the film will be made available online for everyone to view.

Mayor Nick Bye said: "The array of opportunities now open to the English Riviera Geopark is phenomenal and we must embrace them."

When Prof Stewart arrived at the girls' school he found a waiting 'fan club' of sixth formers.

Teresa Davison, of South Devon Geographical Association, which organised the lecture, said: "Professor Stewart was extremely good natured with the girls and gave his time to all who wanted to talk to him."

The large audience of nearly 300 people was a mix of students, parents and members of the public.

Mrs Davison said: "Prof Stewart talked about the difficulty of persuading people who lived in hazardous locations to move away, when the science showed they were at risk."

He plans to return later in the term to do a hazards workshop with Year 13 students at the girls' school and in March will take part in the school's BBC News Report day. He will also be donating a seismograph to the school which has been organised by Gordon Neighbour, the school's new head of ICT, and a geologist friend of Prof Stewart.

The next lecture is on November 13 and will be Prof David Gilbertson, also from the University of Plymouth, who will be talking about coastal management in Southern Australia. This will be at the boys' school at 7pm.

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