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Geotruck kicks off with Holland – Belgium Tour

20.05.2008
Virtual expedition in a lorry

The Geotruck, a mobile classroom in which students from the last three years of pre-university secondary education (VWO) in the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Belgium will play the game EarthQuest, has begun its Holland- Belgium Tour.

The Geotruck is a joint initiative between the University of Utrecht’s Faculty of Geosciences and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and is being launched in the context of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE).

The United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of Planet Earth. Nationally and internationally, activities are being organised to raise broad public awareness of the importance of the Earth, its climate and the environment. The Geotruck is the flagship of the activities being organised by My Earth [Mijn Aarde], the Dutch branch of IYPE. In the coming year, the truck will visit secondary schools in the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Belgium.

For pupils and a wide audience
The Geotruck's purpose is to provide information and raise awareness among secondary school students regarding major global issues such as the environment, energy supplies, climate change, population growth, urbanisation, natural disasters and water supplies, in an exciting, challenging and educational setting. The Geotruck also aims to create greater awareness and understanding among a broad public of the urgency that exists regarding the social significance of these issues. This will take place through activities such as six round-table conferences on topics that form part of the Year of Planet Earth.
Virtual expedition in a lorry
The Geotruck is an ultra-modern, interactive classroom. The EarthQuest game is centred around three large planet Earths, which classes use to set out on a virtual expedition with six different missions. As part of these missions, students are given the chance to expand their knowledge of geoscience and the professional field by considering current issues and problems. All classes will compete in the national EarthQuest competition. Together during a finals day, the best class will decide which team wins the first prize: an expedition to Peru. As a follow-up to the Geotruck's visit, teachers receive an overview of lesson materials relating to the topics covered in EarthQuest. Approximately 100 schools have already booked the Geotruck.
Launch by Minister Cramer
On Tuesday 22 April 2008 Minister Jacqueline Cramer of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) has officially launched the Holland–Belgium Geotruck Tour.
Partners
The Geotruck is an initiative of the University of Utrecht’s Faculty of Geosciences in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), and is supported by the following partners: the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Delft University of Technology, Aarde.nu, the Royal Dutch Geographical Society (KNAG), Geoweek, the BètaTechniek Platform, the Darwin Centre for Biogeology, the Netherlands Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI Nederland), ExxonMobil, the Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science (ISES), International Polar Year (IPY), Ruimte voor Geo-Informatie (Space for Geo-Information, RGI), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Netherlands Petroleum Company (NAM).

Peter van der Wilt | alfa
Further information:
http://www.geotruck.nl
http://www.geo.uu.nl.

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