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 fun and exciting ways to engage students in learning about geological processes and mining economics.
Seminars including Good Stone – Bad Stone and Life Cycle of a Mine: Exploration, Operation, Sustainability and Reclamation, helped to illustrate the connection between the products used today and the raw material source. Teachers also learned about careers in the mining industry, how to enhance understanding of geology using Google Earth, and how previous participants were using workshop knowledge to teach students of all ages 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. Dan Wheeler (IDNR Office of Mines & Minerals) gave educators numerous samples of rocks and minerals mined in Illinois.