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Published online October 15, 2021

Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Spanish Geology Olympiad winners: What they think about their geology learning and the Olympics experience? A prospective study

by Amelia Calonge1, Omid Fesharaki2*, and María Dolores López Carrillo1

1 Geology, Geography and Environment Department; Alcalá University. 28871 Alcalá de Henares (Spain)
2 Geodynamics, Stratigraphy and Palaeontology Department, Complutense University of Madrid. 28040 Madrid (Spain)

Correspondence to:E-mail: omidfesh@ucm.es

Received: July 5, 2021; Revised: September 10, 2021; Accepted: September 10, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Among the initiatives that seek to promote earth sciences among young people are the Geology Olympics. This article analyses the perceptions of previous training among eleven of the winners of the first ten Geology Olympics held in Spain. This study also investigates the factors that have influenced young people to choose their university careers and their perceptions of the learning that participation in the Olympics has meant for them. The results indicate that the theoretical training they have received in the first cycle of secondary education has been limited and that practical content and geological field trips are practically nonexistent. Thus, only the good work of teachers has motivated them to take optional subjects such as geology and participate in activities such as the Olympics, which are a decisive factor in choosing university degree in Geology. Every participant changed their perspective of geology and its professionals after their participation in the Olympics. One of the aspects to consider is that more integrated and practical knowledge should be imparted in teacher training master’s degree programs, as well as in providing more didactic instruments to future teachers so that they can implement better geological training for our young people.