Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, four Cambridge organisations took part in the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.
Over the past few years the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have been joined by the UK Antarctic heritage Trust (UKAHT) and the Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI). This year the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences also joined in.
On the Friday we ran sessions for over 700 school children featuring geology, biology, palaeontology, and living and working in the Antarctic extremes.
For the rest of the weekend we were open to the general public. By pooling our resources we were able to offer substantially more to festival visitors this year including; ask the expert a question using the walkie-talkies, fossil rubbing, ammonite themed craft activities, Antarctic small world play with fake snow, dressing up in old and new polar gear, penguin height measuring, exploring an Antarctic field camp, looking at Antarctic fossils as well as recent biological finds.
In addition to the geological and Antarctic themed stands we also ran drop in sessions for teachers with the Jurassic Heritage Coast Trust education team. This was a great chance for us to meet teachers and inspire them to think more broadly about incorporating geology into their teaching. It was also an opportunity for us to establish links with the Jurassic Coast team and share educational ideas and resources.
As part of the Fossil Festival programme, Naomi Chapman from the Polar Museum and Huw Griffiths from BAS gave a talk about Stitching Scientific Research.
Despite an extremely soggy Sunday, we reached approximately 8500 people over the weekend.
Will we return next year?
Yes, without a doubt!