Young Geographer of the Year 2010
Competition judge Steve Brace, head of education and outdoor learning at the
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), discusses this year’s winning entries
The theme for the 2010 Young Geographer of the Year competition was ‘Sorting the wood from the trees: the future of forests’, and the level and quality of the entries presented the judges with exactly that problem. More than 700 pupils from the UK and beyond entered the competition, and the judges were impressed by the wide range of information sources on which the entrants had drawn in putting together their entries.
After long and careful deliberation, the judges finally chose three worthy winners: Josh Paice of Nower Hill High School in Pinner (under 12), Ethan Harradine of King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford (13–15 years) and Christopher Hogg of Wilson’s School in Wallington (16–18 years).
Josh submitted a well-presented and very professional mini film report that looked at how we use and look after trees in the UK. Through a mixture of interviews and first-hand research, he produced a very comprehensive and informative entry that covered the importance of forests from the local to the national scale.
than’s entry examined the impact of genetic modification on trees and whether this process might be a help or a hindrance. His essay looked at the potential benefits of genetically modified trees and why we may need them in the future, but also questioned whether they would prove to be as beneficial as we might hope.
ABOVE: Benedict Allen (back row, fourth from left) joins the 2010 Young Geographer of the Year competition winners and highly commended entrants at the headquarters of the RGS-IBG; ABOVE RIGHT, LEFT TO RIGHT: award winners Christopher Hogg (16–18 years), Ethan Harradine (13–15 years) and Josh Price (12 years and under)
Christopher produced a very eloquent essay that provided an overview of the world’s forests using a wide range of geographical examples. His well-researched, well-referenced essay assessed the impact that the loss of the world’s forests could have on our lives.
On 19 November, the winning pupils, together with their parents and teachers, came to the Society’s headquarters in South Kensington to receive their awards from Benedict Allen, one of Britain’s leading adventurers and explorers, and a member of the Society’s council. In an entertaining presentation about his own expeditions in the forests of the Amazon Basin, Benedict encouraged the young people in the audience to set their own individual goals for where their enthusiasm for geography might take them in the future.
18 www.geographical.co.uk february 2011