The partnership grew from SLIME, a regional science learning network. It comprised: Hampshire County Council Arts and Museums Service; English Heritage, representing the Swiss Cottage Museum at Osborne House, Isle of Wight; Canterbury City Museum and Galleries Service; Painshill Park in Surrey; and the Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage.
Four of the partners have collections of fossils, rocks and minerals that relate closely to historic and present-day industry. They felt that the UK's geological heritage is frequently overlooked in museums as it can be challenging to interpret, particularly without specialist input.
None of the partners were in the position to do curriculum development work individually but they identified that working together would enable them to pool resources and expertise.
The partners identified a wish list of resources and approaches. Freelance consultants were commissioned to work with museum staff and volunteers to produce a 'kit' of geologically inspired learning activities and resources and to provide training for non-specialist museum educators.