The RiverLife River Table made an appearance at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers National Conference on the 27th of October. Amy and Jonathan went along to impart some Dynamic Rivers wisdom to the teachers (and let them have a shot on the River Table!). Our Dynamic Rivers programme allows the RiverLife team to go into high school geography classes and show them how the river processes they learn about in class, look in action. These main processes: erosion/transportation/deposition can be seen in the movements of the tiny recycled plastic pieces as we pump water through the table and manipulate it.

With this table, we can teach pupils about simple things like the water cycle all the way through to what a delta looks like in the deposition zone and everything in between! We can focus on human interactions with rivers in the form of putting in weirs, culverts and bridges, showing pollution events and livestock poaching. We can even show the how River and Fishery Trusts in Britain are trying to help rivers by putting in things like soft bank protection and demonstrate in real time how “sediments” moving through the river are trapped in the bits of tree and roots.

By the end of the session, the geography teachers were impressed with the table and its’ application potential in their classes. Some were even coming up with ideas for making their own: queue the bath tub sand-pit! But most of all, the River Table showed once again how memorable things can be if taught in a fun and interactive manner. This applies to any age whether you are 8 or 58!

Thank you to the National Conference organisers for asking us come along to your event. We hope that the teachers gained a lot from it!

Jonathan talking about weirs and human interaction with rivers.

All hands on deck! We asked the teachers to create their own scenarios in the river to see how the processes worked.