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Old industry launches new resource

THE quarrying industry took a major technological step forward last month with the launch of a new interactive online education resource aimed at schools.

The new Virtual Quarry web site ( has been developed by the QPA with the support of the MIST programme and a number of other partners. The open-access site, which provides both an interactive fun experience for children and a substantial resource for teachers, was unveiled at the BETT educational technology show in London on 11 January to an audience of some 27,000 teachers.

For youngsters, the highlight is a tour of a virtual quarry by a team of animated characters who explain where the materials for buildings and roads come from. The user can participate a variety of fun and educational activities such as piloting a delivery truck and activating a quarry blast. After the tour, youngsters can transform an old quarry into a nature reserve and take a closer look at rocks and fossils. The web site also includes information on wide-ranging events around the UK and links to a variety of fun places to visit.

The Virtual Quarry also has much to offer teachers, providing access to a substantial learning resource covering key stages 1 to 4 of the National Curriculum. The site includes more than 20 complete teaching units developed against the schemes of work recommended by the Department for Education and Skills. A comprehensive set of supporting resources is also available, including an image library and guidance on organizing visits to real quarries.

QPA director of communications Elizabeth Clements said: ‘We are very excited by the enormous potential this project has to raise awareness and appreciation of the industry. This technology is an ideal way to bring the quarry environment to life in interactive fashion. If it’s fun for children, then it also opens the door to learning opportunities, and we are confident that teachers will value the curriculum-linked materials that have been developed around the Virtual Quarry.’


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