SIXTH form students from Petersfield experienced life on the edge when they climbed Mount Etna hours before the volcano erupted.
The Bedales School team had travelled to Sicily on a geography field-trip and made the journey up the south east crater of Mount Etna – which is the most active.
Ten hours after they climbed back down the volcano erupted for the 16th time this year, producing lava flows and small steam eruptions.
The experience was a great opportunity for the students to note their observations before the eruption, and then follow its progress online.
Head of geography Kirsty Layton said: ‘This was an exciting opportunity to see first-hand how people respond to, and live daily, with an active volcano.
‘Sicily provides the students with an alternative to the typical coastal or shopping field work often associated with the subject.
‘At a time when travel within schools is becoming more of a challenge, due to the constraints of health and safety and risk assessment, we will continue to take the concepts beyond the classroom and into the wider world to expand the perspective and understanding of our students, and prepare them better for further study of the subject.’
As well as exploring the summit craters of Etna, the students collected field data in Catania, swimming through the twisted basaltic columns of the Alcantara gorge and investigating the short and long term effects of a volcanic environment.