Monday, 8 April 2013

GA Conference 2013 - 8 of lots: GA Public Lecture, Awards and Conference Dinner

At 5.30, I went through into the splendid room in the Roundhouse where Bob Digby introduced Dame Ellen MacArthur. She is a local girl (to Derby), and hit the headlines when she sailed solo around the world, and also won a number of races.
She talked about her earlier career, but the majority of the talk was a polished presentation which introduced the idea of the 'circular economy'. This is an idea which relates to our use of the world's resources, and in particular their use in manufacturing.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has been successful in raising funding to develop materials related to this idea. Check the website for the educational resources for geography teachers.
It was a polished speech. Here's a short video from the BBC which gives a brief summary of what Ellen talked about.

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After the lecture, there were the GA Awards. These include the Publishers' Awards, and also the handing out of Frederick Soddy Trust awards, and the collection of certificates by PGQM and SGQM schools (I'm involved in moderating both these awards)

I was involved in several things which were up for an award, and in the end, was involved in the Frozen Oceans pack, which won a GA SILVER AWARD.

Here's the judge's citation...


Frozen Oceans is a suite of free online materials that aim to bring the excitement of expeditions to the Arctic Ocean into key stage 3 and 4 classrooms and investigate changes taking place in this fragile environment.

Although often science focused, the Frozen Oceans resources will enable geographers to develop challenging enquiry-based learning and provide a clear opportunity for collaborative work with science teachers. The effective use of digital technologies such as video footage, and the range of resources, such as maps, diagrams and images, and suggested activities, will enable teachers to select, adapt and create lessons tailored to their school’s needs.

The judges agreed that the Frozen Oceans resources are well designed, with up-to-date information and interesting new ideas. It was felt that the links to Google Earth provide an interesting extra dimension to the already impressive range of activities. This free, well-presented resource will be effective as a tool for independent study, and an asset to any scheme of work on cold environments.


This was one less than the two I was involved in last year, but was still welcome, and thanks to Jamie, Ceri and Helen who co-wrote the materials with me.

Bob finished the session by handing out some special awards to Gill Miller and Margaret Roberts, and also to Paula Owens for her work for the GA.

Earlier in the day, I had a call from Val Vannet. She had an extra ticket to the GA's conference dinner, which meant that I was able to go along for the first time.
I had a few glasses of wine first at the wine reception, with several people. It was good to meet up with colleagues from the Ordnance Survey, and chat to Margaret Roberts and other folks I hadn't seen for most of the year. Then went through for the meal.

The excitement was that not only did I have a ticket, but it was for the 'top table', which meant sitting with the 4 'presidents' in their various roles.... current, past, junior-vice and vice... and also Rob Lucas from the FSC and Alan Kinder. Good chat, food and wine.

I finished up the evening in the Brunswick, just along the road from the hotel, to check out the venue for Friday's GeoBeerMeet.
Excellent 'Landlord' ale... my favourite of old...
The room upstairs had a trad jazz band, with musicians who were in their 60s or 70s, but could certainly play. I loved the energy of the music, and the audience, and it was certainly a cultural highlight of the weekend...

Bryan Ledgard's excellent images from the conference have now replaced last year's on the GA Flickr account pages. I make a few appearances as usual....


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