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Lyme Regis Fossil Festival 2017

PUBLISHED: 11:26 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:26 26 April 2017

Meet experts in their field and see if it would be the career for you (Photo by Maisie Hill)

Meet experts in their field and see if it would be the career for you (Photo by Maisie Hill)

Archant

Hayley Jones reveals how a visit to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival could inspire a career in Earth Sciences

Do you want to get your children switched on to science? The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival (28 – 30 April) provides the perfect opportunity for young minds to discover the thrilling world of Earth Sciences and how it impacts on the planet. This area of science is all about our planet, how the Earth has evolved and how it works, and it includes aspects such as geography, geology, physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

The festival, which is free to all, promotes education and encourages young people to pursue careers in science, especially geology and palaeontology. In this spirit, Friday is schools’ day, when priority goes to visiting school parties up until 2.30pm, but after that it’s open to all.

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival attracts some of the most prestigious establishments in the Earth Science arena including the Natural History Museum, British Antarctic Survey, Geological Society, Jurassic Coast Trust, Natural England and teams from several universities. They will all be at the event providing activities and information from 10am to 5pm each day. This is a fantastic chance for young people to discuss career choices with experts in their field and learn about the practical aspects of their jobs - whether it’s becoming a polar explorer, surveying the earth’s tectonic plates or creating waves.

This year’s theme is Time, Tides and Tectonics, exploring the global forces which have impacted – and continue to impact – the Jurassic Coast as well as the rest of our planet. There is an exciting programme of talks on the theme, featuring experts such as Dean Lomax, multi-award winning scientist and presenter of ITV’s Dinosaur Britain.

Dean, who is author of Dinosaurs of the British Isles, is a great example of someone who has built a successful career via a non-traditional route. Instead of going to university, Dean pursued palaeontology through practical experience and has accomplished a great deal before turning 30 – including publishing many academic papers. He is now an internationally recognised palaeontologist and a world expert on Jurassic ichthyosaurs.

If your budding palaeontologist wants to follow in Dean’s dinosaur footprints then they should go on one of the festival’s fossil walks under the guidance of an expert; they will learn what to look for and how fossils are formed. They can then take their finds back to the fossil polishing workshop, hosted by Lyme Regis Museum. They will show you how to present your finds to their best advantage. No luck in your fossil hunting? The in-house Fossil Fair is a great place to accumulate fossils for your collection and there will be some spectacular examples on display.

While Lyme Regis Fossil Festival encourages learning at any age, the opportunities available for children and young people are particularly beneficial. Who knows if that meeting with an expert inspires them to take a scientific career path or even has them walking with dinosaurs!

For more information and programme updates visit fossilfestival.com.

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