Founded 1954 | Promoting interest in geology and geological knowledge


Geology Video Competition

Together with a bequest from a former member – Philip Doughty and the Mineral Products Association Northern Ireland ( MPANI ) who have also kindly donated money to the video competition, we are launching a video competition to celebrate the 70th year of the Society.

MPANI Mineral Products Association Northern Ireland* works towards a secure future and a socially responsible aggregates industry. MPANI is affiliated to the award-winning Mineral Products Association. The MPA is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries.

MPANI represent members’ interests on policy, planning and technical matters with government departments, local authorities, professional trade bodies and other key audiences at European, national and local levels.

In Northern Ireland our members produce more than 90% of aggregates extracted -sand and gravel and crushed rock as well as non aggregate minerals such as agricultural and industrial lime including limestone, clay and shale for cement.

*Formerly known as QPANI, Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland

Philip Doughty

Philip Doughty was a past president of the Belfast Geologists’ Society and bequeathed money for educational and outreach purposes.  

Philip’s passion, along with rugby and classical music, was geology.

He hated the popular conception that geology was only for “intellectuals”, it was all big words that contained most of the letters of the alphabet, some used several times, and was beyond the grasp of most people.  Geology was for everyone, geology made the soil, geology flavoured the water and there was nothing like a stout mountain range or a soggy delta to make an invader think again.

Philip was a great communicator.  Many children loved fossils and dinosaurs and his aim was to hold that interest and develop it further.

He wanted people to understand the landscape around them, to be able to look at a rock face and see in the different patterns and colours a deep a sandy desert or a muddy delta and that the dark lines cutting across everything was the result of a volcanic hiccup.  Philip wanted people to understand the landscape around them and see the rough and tumble of an ice sheet, the result of a volcanic tantrum, the calm of a tropical sea or that they were living under a shield volcano called Cave Hill.

Philip wanted people to have the same pleasure in finding a piece of microgranite from Ailsa Craig as in finding Oyster Plant (Mertensia maritima) or seeing a Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii).

Geology is for everyone.

Competition details


What does Geology mean to me?

You can also refer to Geology as Geoscience or Earth Science in your video.  Geology is the study of the earth and helps us to understand how the earth formed and how it is constantly changing.  it is a study of the composition, structure, and processes of all the planets.  The natural resources that we need for eg electricity and making cars are extracted from the ground.  Geology investigates the processes that have helped shape the earth over the last 4500 million years.  Geoscientists are concerned with investigating climate change, better use of resources and are looking at ways to help reduce global warming and be more sustainable.  The history of the earth is told through the rock record and fossils that have been found.

This is a first for the Belfast Geologists’ Society and not only is this great fun to be a part of, but you can win some fantastic prizes. It’s open to anyone and you do not have to be a member of our Society but do need to be resident in Ireland / United Kingdom

We have several categories (ages) you can enter.

We are very keen to have younger people enter this competition both from schools and universities. 

It’s your chance to show off your knowledge and skills without the pressure that goes hand in hand with schoolwork – this is all for fun! It could also be linked to some of the fieldwork that you do at school or university eg your favourite field trip location.  Perhaps you have made volcanoes in the classroom or at home and can create a video of this activity and erupting the volcano.

Your entry can be about eg rocks, fieldtrips, fossils, dinosaurs, mountains, cliffs, caves, beaches, building stones, quarries, volcanoes, metals, crystals, famous geologists, landscapes, earthquakes, meteorites, or anything else geological you can think of!

Your entry can also take any form you want it to, such as geology-themed models eg building and erupting a paper mache Volcano, creating a board game or card game, word games, drawings eg  linked to your favourite fossils, paintings, illustrated books, recipes, presentations, short films, embroidery, knitting, clothing, puzzles and sculptures. 


This needs to be made into a video format where you may have used a mixture of photos to show the start and end results and uploaded to our Competition email


  • All first placed category winners will each receive £100  
  • Second placed entrants will receive £50
  • Third placed entrants will receive £25.00 worth
  • The overall winners from each category will have their videos will be shared on social media – X and Facebook and our website (this would look great on your CV when applying for university or a job!).

All winners will also be invited to attend a special prize-giving ceremony in the Winter series of lectures


Deadline for entries to be sent in by 30th September 2024

Winners notified by mid October 2024

Competition Categories
  • 11 years and under
  • 12-18 years 
  • Fulltime or part- time education students 
  • Adult

The movie/sound category your entry should be a maximum of 5 minutes long.  This can be sent as a TikTok , Facebook or Instagram link or an MP4 video.

  • Submissions must be fully credited; when submitting entries,
  • References MUST be used when appropriate, either in video descriptions at the end of the video
What are Judges Looking for?

There are six criteria when judging each competition entry which are:

  • Originality
  • Geological content 
  • Geological accuracy (look at the links for the local Geology in the Hints and Tips section)
  • Presentation
  • Artistic/literary merit
  • Inventiveness and knowledge (age-related)
Useful hints and tips on Getting Started and making your video

Keep the video in the time limit ie no more than 5 minutes and you can plan what you are going to do for the video by using a story board

Film the video using whatever device you are most comfortable with and have access to, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or camera. Just make sure you film it in landscape orientation (i.e. sideways like in the photo above), rather than portrait, so it looks well on the big screen!

Sound quality is crucial to good video. Sound quality can often be poor if you are filming outdoors, particularly on windy days, and can negatively impact otherwise excellent video footage. After recording, if you think the sound quality is poor, consider recording a separate voiceover indoors using your video camera or phone voice recorder and adding it to the video afterwards – or add subtitles. Speak loudly and clearly, so all of your science knowledge can be heard!

Make sure everything in the video has been created by you!

You cannot use any copyrighted material in your film without permission, such as video clips (TV, movies, online videos), images, music, sound recordings, etc. When you upload your finished video to the email address make sure you have also completed the entry form and attached it to the same email.

Get parental consent for any children (under 18) identified, appearing or participating in the video, ensuring that parents or guardians are fully aware of the nature of the competition, and the subsequent use and display (including online and at public screenings) of the video entries by (e.g. sharing the videos via Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Look at other examples that have been completed!

For more inspiration see what some people have produced for some of the other Geology/STEM organisations!

These videos are linked to school pupils at both Primary and Secondary level   This is for school age students  This is for 16-18 year old students 

The GSNI is the Geological Survey for Northern Ireland and you can access Geology maps and links /simple videos.  Check out the links between the Game of Thrones and Geology

Useful information from the Geological Society of London will be helpful

Girls into Geoscience – this is an initiative to increase awareness of Geoscience and careers

For Older students/adults 

This is from Galway University with Prof John Murray on the History of Life module