Year 7 Geography students travelled to the banks of the River Deben earlier this week with Mrs Saagi and Mr Bradshaw, Miss Swan and Miss Gill as part of their investigative studies into meandering rivers and their characteristics.
Armed with ranging poles, measuring tapes, corks, clinometers and wellington boots, the students were set tasks to measure the river flow rate, gradient and shape of the river channel as well as the sediment type. Searching for characteristics typical of a meandering river, the students set about their tasks recording their data for analysis back in the classroom later.
With groups of students placed at different locations on the river, they each stood five metres apart with ranging poles held at the beginning and end of this distance; Using clinometers, each group measured the channel gradient at that particular part of the river.
The next task was to measure the speed of the river flow, and this was achieved by timing a cork travelling from the beginning to the end of the five metre distance.
Measurements of the different depths across the river from one bank to the other were taken at intervals across the section in order to identify the shape of the channel in that particular part of the river; and sediment samples were also taken and brought back to the classroom for further analysis.
As well as the discussions had at the river bank, the identification of visual elements of the river in terms of its meandering status, plus all of the data collected by students will enable them to create graphical representations of the river channel shape, encouraging further discussion and confirmation that indeed the River Deben is meandering and shows all associated characteristics.
It’s so important students have the opportunity to experience and see for themselves the characteristics of geographical structures that are discussed and taught in the classroom Critical thinking takes place, independent and collaborative learning opportunities take place while students also have the chance to foster a sense of teamwork and community. Field trips also offer cultural learning experiences, exposes students to new environments, encourages curiosity and broadens understanding of the world – which is what Geography is all about!