EGU Public Engagement Grants: 2021 winners announced
2 November 2021
EGU Public Engagement Grants are awarded each year to Union members interested in developing an outreach project to raise awareness of the geosciences outside the scientific community. For 2021, the EGU Outreach Committee has named three €1500 grant winners. Spanning a range of topics from space weather to geological history to climate change and using a range of innovative outreach formats to speak with their chosen audiences, the 2021 winners of the EGU Public Engagement Grants represent the enthusiasm that EGU members have for sharing our subject with many different public audiences.
“We are super excited for this amazing opportunity provided by EGU!” say Iris van Zelst, a postdoctoral fellow at the institute of planetary research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin, Germany and Lucía Pérez-Díaz, a senior geodynamicist at Neftex, Halliburton in Oxford, UK and freelance illustrator, who make up the team who designed the ‘QUARTETnary’ card game, “With this grant, we will be able to make QUARTETnary a reality, such that children and everyone who is young at heart can discover the geological time scale in a playful manner and learn all about the most important events in Earth’s history. Through this, we hope to inspire and enthuse the next generation of geoscientists.” Their card game is designed to help people understand geological time, and the Earth’s rich geological history by collecting important events throughout Earth’s era, eons, and periods, attempting to build a complete timeline. For more information, you can visit their website or follow their twitter account.
Turning from geological time towards outer space, the second funded project ‘A Touch of Space Weather’ proposes to bring space weather science into the hands of blind and visually impaired students by creating tactile 3D images kits, with models and complementary audiobooks in several languages. Project lead Lenka Zychova, a space weather scientist at Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, in Brussels, Belgium is also very excited at the chance to work with these often under-recognised audiences. “Space weather can influence nearly every aspect of our modern life ranging from banking, navigation, telecommunications to power supply. It is ideal for explaining complex scientific topics to students while at the same time teaching them space- and geo-sciences. Our project offers the teachers of blind and visually impaired students a new approach to teach these complex topics in a creative and inclusive way. We believe that our project will build many bridges and we are thankful to EGU for making this possible.”
The third project looks not back to the beginning of geological time, nor out into space, but directly at a very current and topical issue facing all of us today, climate change. For a subject that can often seem scary and overwhelming, project leads Roberta Wilkinson and Matthew Kemp wanted to take a different approach to communicating, by using performance in ‘Geologise Theatre presents: A Climate Change Musical’. Roberta and Matthew are both PhD students in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. They write, produce and perform songs and musical theatre shows about geosciences as Geologise Theatre. “We love combining musical theatre and science to engage audiences, and we are excited to create a new show about climate change for children and teenagers. This project will be a great opportunity to engage with young people on the science and research behind climate issues. We are delighted to be awarded this grant, many thanks to EGU.” Find out more about the project on twitter.
The grants are for a period of approximately 12 months and will be awarded this month. The winners will be invited to present their public-engagement work at next year’s EGU General Assembly and to participate in EGU educational and outreach activities in Vienna in 2022. They are also invited to submit a paper about their work to the journal Geoscience Communication.
Head of Communication
European Geosciences Union