Geography Pupils Visit the Environment Sustainability Institute

On 18 March ten pupils from 4th year at Truro School were selected to go to Exeter University’s Environment Day at Penryn Campus, Falmouth.


The students spent the day at the ESI (Environment Sustainability Institute) which only opened in April 2013. Professor Gaston introduced the day praising the students for their interest in sustainable development and welcoming them to the university campus. The day was set up around looking at global issues, including how do we create clean energy and how do we sustainably mine for the resources we need.


The students spent the day working on a range of challenges we are likely to face in the future as well as thinking about thinking. The first workstation the students went to taught them about solar energy. The pupils were presented with a small experiment created using the colour of raspberries or beetroot within a solar cell to conduct electricity. The professor challenged the pupils to guess how much electricity is generated from the sun using the current technology found in solar panels. The answer was a slim 40% of the suns energy is turned in to electricity. This ignited the debate over why it is a small amount and what can we do to improve our technologies to really harness the power of the sun.


Throughout the day we moved through a number of seminar style sessions looking at everything from drones used to assist mapping everything from landscapes to wilder beasts to looking at the debate surrounding badger culling. The students enjoyed talking to the researchers during the day and put forward their own questions during the last activity which was based on the game show Would I Lie to You!


The sustainability day provided valuable insight to the pupils who got the chance to work with students from different schools on some of the world’s most pressing issues. Thanks go to Dr Eastburn and Mr Sneddon for assisting on the day. We are already looking forward to their Environment Day 2016!