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Teachers Learn About Rocks, Minerals, and Mining at IAAP's Workshop

Becky Kazmierski (LafargeHolcim) and Amy Reeves (RiverStone Group) explain the core drilling activity to teachers.
Becky Kazmierski (LafargeHolcim) and Amy Reeves (RiverStone Group) explain the core drilling activity to teachers.
2021 IAAP Rocks, Minerals, & Mining Workshop participants at New Frontier Materials mine in Alton, Illinois
2021 IAAP Rocks, Minerals, & Mining Workshop participants at New Frontier Materials mine in Alton, Illinois
Steve McChesney (Hey and Associates) helps teachers identify fossils and the environments in which these animals lived.
Steve McChesney (Hey and Associates) helps teachers identify fossils and the environments in which these animals lived.
Mechanical scaler at New Frontier Materials - Bluff City underground mine in Alton, Illinois
Mechanical scaler at New Frontier Materials - Bluff City underground mine in Alton, Illinois
GRAFTON, IL — Teachers from across the state gathered for the Illinois Teachers Workshop: Rocks, Minerals, & Mining in Today’s Society, presented by the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois. Everyone present refreshed their knowledge of earth science and learned more about the importance of stone, sand, industrial minerals, fossils, sustainability, and the mining process. This was the 26th year for the rocks, minerals, and mining workshop.

Lectures and hands-on activities presented by government, industry, and academic professionals explored Illinois geology, mining, and the rocks and minerals used to make common products. Hands-on activities, such as cookie mining, birdseed mining, and core drilling, provided ways to engage students in learning about geological processes and mining economics.

Seminars including Life Cycle of a Mine: Exploration, Operation, Sustainability, and Reclamation and Good Stone - Bad Stone, helped to illustrate the connection between the products we use today and the raw material source. Teachers also learned how to enhance understanding of geology using Google Earth and how previous participants were using workshop knowledge and experiences to teach students about geology, rocks, minerals, and mining.

Participants received many teaching aids including rock, mineral, and fossil kits, lesson plans, visual aids, and copies of speaker presentations. Vishnu Srinivasaraghavan (IDNR Office of Mines & Minerals) gave everyone numerous rock and mineral samples mined in Illinois.

Fieldtrips led by Becky Kazmierski (LafargeHolcim) and Don Mikulic (Weis Earth Science Museum) put teachers where miners once carved blocks of building stone, looked out over the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers, and learned more about the geological history that formed this area of the state. Thanks to New Frontier Materials (Bluff City Minerals) and Shakespeare Aggregates, everyone observed mining operations, hunted for fossils, and went below the Earth’s surface under a golf course in Alton.

Leeboy - Pavers/Asphalt
Your local LeeBoy dealer
Brandeis Machinery

All of the information and activities presented, as well as numerous educational materials provided to teachers, were designed to have practical applications for students in their classrooms. The IAAP partnered with the Illinois Science Teacher Association and Illinois State University to facilitate professional development credit or graduate degree hours for all participants.

Sponsorship for this event is provided by IAAP member companies and PIE Committee fundraising including 50/50 drawings during the convention each spring as well as the upcoming IAAP golf outing.

Wacker Compact Equipment
Your local Wacker Neuson Corp dealer
Burris Equipment
Wacker Compact Equipment
Your local Wacker Neuson Corp dealer
Burris Equipment
Takeuchi Mfg Ltd
Your local Takeuchi Mfg Ltd dealer
Brandeis Machinery