TR Elementary students visit Texas A&M Geology Department
by Madison Pope and Neil Rathod
Mar 07, 2012 | 827 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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The Three Rivers third, fourth, and fifth grade Gifted/Talented students were accompanied by teachers, Laura Sulaica and Tracy Favor to the Geology Department of Texas A&M Kingsville on Feb. 9. The students were taught a geology lesson about the properties of minerals presented by the geology department head, Dr. Thomas McGehee and his students, Naomi Pankratz and Jonathan Sulaica.

During the lesson, the students learned that minerals could be identified by using the sense of touch, sight, smell, and taste. Students were able to experience the smell of sulfur and touch talc. They learned that talcum powder comes from talc and that salt comes from the mineral, halite, which they were shown.

Students also learned about geodes and how they are formed. In addition, they were taught about the property of florescence. The students were able to view the difference in the color of minerals under regular light and ultraviolet light. Cleavage was a condition they were told about in which rocks break into perfect cubes which might be as thin as a sheet of paper.

Dr. Hughes, another professor showed the students examples of igneous rocks and discussed information about them with the students. A student, Wesley Thompson, had brought a sample of scoria on the trip, and Dr. Hughes discussed it with the students, as well. The students left with a wealth of information and hopefully, a spark of scientific desire for learning in the future.
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