Discovering geothermal energy with MSC Ambassador

Outreach activities as MSC Ambassador

How to explain as MSC Ambassador (Marie Skłodowska Curie Ambassador) what is geothermal energy, trying to make it interesting to a group of students in grade 6-8 (age 11-14 years old)?

MSCA Ambassador, outreach activities, communication, dissemination

The MSC Actions logo

When I was contacted by some professors of the Franconian International School (FIS) in Erlangen (http://www.the-fis.de/) I asked myself this question and I tried to find a solution.

My idea was to explain in few words what is a researcher, what is a geologist and what he/she works about. In addition, I wanted to introduce the fascinating world of geothermal energy. How is it possible to use the ground to generate electrical power and, especially relevant for my research, for heating/cooling buildings?

Thanks to Lorraine Kellum (ESL teacher), Constantine Lomaca (Head of the Science Department) and John Kennedy (Math/Science teacher), I had the opportunity to test my communication skills.

Geothermal talk at the Franconian International School (FIS)

On April 4 2016, the talk was ready, and so, it was definitively time to meet with students. Two classes attended the event and the students were really interested by the topic. Moreover, they already know the famous researcher and double Noble Prize winner Marie Curie, which gives its name both to the MSC fellowship program of the European Commission and to their school street!!! What a coincidence!

MSC Ambassador, outreach activity, geothermal energy, school, students

MSC Ambassador in action talking about research and life of a researcher

Making reference to the popular movies “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars” helps to get an idea on how the ground acts as a reservoir of heat. In fact, some of the characters are living underground, in the Hobbit Hole and in the city of Tatooine, respectively. This is not only fiction. Also in the real world several example of well known underground cities exist, as Nürnberg (Germany), Petra (Jordan), Matera (Italy).

Then, both students and teachers really appreciated the use of mash mellows to understand how the rocks can be folded or stretched! Especially because at the end you can directly eat them!!!!

Anyway, it was a really nice experience.

Thanks a lot to all the FIS staff and especially to the students for their attention and questions.

You have to try!!!!

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