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schools geology challenge with a green crystal in the right hand corner

The Schools Geology Challenge is a competition where students showcase their interest in geology, learn more about the way geoscience impacts our lives, and put their teamwork and presentation skills to the test! 

First prize includes the coveted Schools Geology Challenge Trophy, £500 to use towards geoscience education at school, a year’s Student Membership with the Geological Society plus a certificate. The two runners-up will each receive £200 to use towards geoscience education at school and a certificate.

Participants don’t have to study geology to enter – the competition is open to any interested students who are currently studying geology, geography or science A-levels (England/Wales/Northern Ireland), or Advanced Highers (Scotland).

Entries are now closed for the 2024 Schools Geology Challenge. To be notified when the 2025 Schools Geology Challenge opens, sign up for email notifications here.

group of young people sat at a table covered with geological maps and documents


Also known as ‘geoscience’ or ‘Earth science’, geology is the study of the structure, evolution and dynamics of the Earth and its natural resources. Geology investigates the processes that have shaped the Earth through its 4500 million year history and uses the rocks, minerals and fossils to unravel that history. It is concerned with the real world beyond the laboratory and has direct relevance to the needs of society. Geology tells us about the composition, structure, processes, and history of all planets - even those in outer space!


Entries are now closed for the 2024 Schools Geology Challenge. To be notified when the 2025 Schools Geology Challenge opens, sign up for email notifications here.

The competition runs in two stages: the Qualifiers and the Final.

In order to enter the competition, students need to make a submission to the Qualifiers via our online entry form. Their submission should fit the competition brief, and be uploaded via the online form. Only ONE entry per team is permitted. Entries will be marked by a panel of judges.

The 10 highest-scoring entries will be invited to the Final, where they will complete a problem-solving challenge in their teams. The Final takes place in-person at Burlington House along London's iconic Piccadilly. Reimbursement for travel costs of up to £700 will be made available.

For full details on how to enter, please see the competition rules.


Qualifiers:

For the Qualifiers, we would like you to:

1. Choose a geoscience topic.

2. Present that topic for an online audience.

3. Submit your entry via the online entry form

Submissions will be judged according to: scientific content and accuracy (50%), how effectively the topic is communicated to the audience (25%), creativity (25%)

For more detailed information, please check out the competition brief.


Finals:

The final will take place on 21 March 2024 at our HQ in Burlington House, Piccadilly, London

The final will involve a problem solving activity about geology and its real world applications. The activity will be explained at the final, but students will be testing their analytic and teamwork skills, and presenting to a panel of judges.

See Finals Terms & Conditions for important information regarding attendance and participation at the Finals.


The competition gives pupils the chance to explore a geoscience topic for themselves, and present it in an interesting way. Those who make it to the Final will be able to meet peers with an interest in Geology, professionals who currently work in geoscience careers, and gain valuable problem-solving skills whilst learning about the ways geology weaves into our everyday lives. Of course, there are also some amazing prizes up for grabs!

Prizes

schools geology challenge trophyCompetition winners will receive:
  • A trophy
  • A certificate for each team member
  • £500 to use towards geoscience education in their school
  • A year’s Student Membership to the Geological Society

Runners-up will receive:
  • A certificate for each team member
  • £200 to use towards geoscience education in their school



Our 2023 winners

four young girls with their teacher smiling and holding a trophy

The final of the 2023 competition took place at Burlington House on 23 March. Participants took part in a problem-solving activity whereby they had to assess the hazards posed to the fictional town of New Barnes by the volcanic activity of Mt Akingbade, and create a management plan for these hazards, using a $1billion fund created by the City council of New Barnes. Click here to see the 2023 problem-solving activity in full.

Sir William Borlase's Grammar School were proclaimed the winners of 2023 and were awarded the coveted Schools Geology Challenge trophy, along with £200 for their school and a year's Student Membership for each member of the team. The Sixth Form College Farnborough and Runshaw College were both runners-up.

You can see the list of all our past winners here.

Take a look at our PHOTO GALLERY of last year's final at Burlington House.


Need inspiration?

Check out some of our previous competition entries below!

Visit our YouTube channel to access more video entries, or why not take a look at our Scientific Themes for further inspiration?


Teacher resources

books and pencils

Fancy tackling the finalists’ problem-solving conundrum? Download the full 2023 Teacher Resource Pack to run the activity in your classroom.

You can also access our 2022 Teacher Resource Pack and our 2021 Teacher Resource Pack if you'd like a further challenge.


Need help?

If you have any questions about the competition, please contact education@geolsoc.org.uk

You can also keep updated on further competitions and education news from the Geological Society by signing up to our Schools Affiliates Scheme.