In celebration of Science Week and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland’s 70th Anniversary local primary schools were invited to Stormont, Northern Ireland’s government buildings, to take part in Earth science activities. With 120 children and eight interactive stations it was a frantic, fun and fast day!

Nikki from the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust turned into a factory director for the day as her station used locally sourced limestone and a few store cupboard ingredients to make toothpaste! Mixing ground down limestone, water, baking soda, food colouring and flavours each child made their own toothpaste. This simple activity demonstrates how products used every day depend on earth process.

Picture: Michael Cooper

Mixed reactions to their toothpaste creations


Helen from Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark also focused on limestone, this time how it can be shaped by water. Using sugar cubes, cemented together with icing sugar to represent blocks of limestone. Blue coloured water was then added, dissolving the sugar creating caves.

Picture: Michael Cooper

Other stations included ‘Out of this world’ (Ulster Museum), ‘Blowing up volcanoes’ (Ring of Gullion Partnership), ‘Fossil finding’ (GSNI), ‘Where does rain go?’ (GSNI), ‘Sculpting sand’ (Queen’s University, Belfast) and ‘Violent volcanoes’ (Belfast Hills Partnership).

Thanks to Kirstin Lemon, another Drifting Apart partner for organising the day!

Picture: Michael Cooper


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