On November 19, dozens of Cub Scouts and STEM Scouts found their way to George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, where the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences’ Geology group hosted interactive workshops.
The activities included learning how to identify different rocks and minerals, learning how to read topographic and geologic maps, creating mineral hardness tests, recognizing geologic materials around the house, and discussing the wide range of activities that can be part of a geologist’s work day.
Webelos earned the “Earth Rocks” adventure by attending the workshop, and all Cubs earned some requirements towards their Nova: Down and Dirty STEM Award!
Best of all, the scouts benefitted from the incredible instruction directly from GMU’s AOES faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students. This event was designed by Dr. Julia Nord in 2014 who designed the program with Northern Virginia Mineral Club’s then president Jim Kostka and NCAC Powhatan District’s then STEM Coordinator Tony Petruzzi. After a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to covid protocols on campus, we are delighted that GMU welcomed our scouts again for this always popular opportunity! We are thankful to Dr. Julia Nord and Dr. Jules Goldspiel for their leadership in reviving this excellent program, as well as to all the students in GMU’s STEM accelerator who supported the activities.
After the Geology activities, the scouts were able to visit the Gem and Mineral show on the GMU campus. The show is co-sponsored by the Northern Virginia Mineral Club, and the timing of the show is coordinated with the Scouting event to help make a full day of geology centered activities. The show was also open to all GMU students and the public, and it was by all reports a fun and successful event for the students, community, vendors and the Friends of Mineralogy Virginia Chapter.