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Minds can be moulded at any age, and we try to show this by dusting off the river table and honing our teaching skills for high school students with Dynamic Rivers! We have been working with St Margaret’s High School in Livingston to show the higher geography classes our adaptation of their module – Hydrosphere. This module was recently added back into the higher geography curriculum and the learning opportunity fits great with our ability to teach Dynamic Rivers from the river table and show what these river processes look like. Human impacts and river formation, industry and landscape management all come into play while the students can see and interact with the river and mould it like a sandpit!

This is followed up by a trip outdoors to the River Almond right on their doorstep! We can show and discuss what we just learned from the river table and map out these processes right on the riverbank.

We have been to St Margaret’s on two separate occasions now to help teach and also revise this module to two classes. There is generally a split opinion as to whether the students prefer the indoor session or the outdoor session; the indoor session runs through the content of the module and we use the shifting particles and flowing water of the river table to express what these processes look like. The outdoor session is an opportunity for us to show how rivers are generally impacted by humans. In modern society, and urban areas especially, you don’t have to walk far before you come across modifications to rivers that can be examined. This session reinforces the ideas that they have been presented with throughout Hydrosphere and gives the students the opportunity to visualise them.

We thank St Margaret’s for inviting us along and for their engagement with our glorified sand pit! If you want to know more about Dynamic Rivers you can check it out at Forth Rivers Trust’s website here