1st International Geodiversity day

As part of International Geodiversity Day, Centre for Education and Research in Geosciences(CERG) conducted a special edition of the popular Geoquest (IGD Special Edition ) in St. Vincent’s High School and Junior College, Pune on 6th of October 2022.

The quiz was based on different aspects of Geosciences and specifically on Geodiversity (Rocks, minerals, landforms, rivers…etc.).  October 6th was proclaimed as International Geodiversity Day by UNESCO  at the 41st General Conference in 2021. It was decided to have an annual celebration world-wide on 6th October, every year and this was the first year that the day was observed as International Geodiversity Day (IGD).

It is a worldwide celebration, bringing people together, to promote the many aspects of geodiversity, recognizing the importance of geoscience in solving major challenges that humanity is facing today. “Geodiversity” has been defined as “the natural range (diversity) of geological (rocks, minerals, fossils), geomorphological (landform, processes) and soil features” and is therefore the abiotic equivalent of biodiversity. ‘Geodiversity' is a shortened version of the phrase 'geological and geomorphological diversity' (Murray Gray (2004)).

The quiz was open to students from Standard 5 to 9 and had two levels, one for students of Standard 5 to 7 and other for students of Standard 8 and 9. Since the number of students was large, it was conducted as a paper-based quiz, comprising of 25 multiple choice questions(MCQs); in the respective classes, under supervision. In all over 800 students participated in the quiz and the participants surprised all with their performance. The top two performers from each class were awarded with first and second Prize and Certificate of participation was given to all students

Geology is taught as a subject in Grade 11 and 12, in St. Vincent’s school. Hence, short films related to Geodiversity were screened for these students. The films screened were - ‘Geodiversity-Biodiversity’s silent partner’ a short film made by Sustainable Earth Institute(University of Plymouth) and short films in regional language, Tarsh and Korad. These films in regional language, based on the theme of water sustainability were winners of the Jal Katha competition, organized by CERG on International Water Day, 2019 and 2020. This was followed by lively discussion, wherein the young minds amazed us with their

The Principal of the school, lauded the initiative taken by CERG in conducting such a fabulous competition. He gave away the trophies to the winners and motivated them to participate in many more such competitions. He stated that participation matters more than winning. The event was effective in  inspiring  and educating the students about the importance of earth and dependency of its resources for our existence and well-being on Earth.

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