Earth Science Week 2013 at the Utah Geological Survey

Since October 1998, the American Geological Institute (AGI) has fostered this national and international event to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth.  Efforts to highlight the role of Earth sciences have increased dramatically on local, national and international levels.   This year’s Earth Science Week at the Utah Geological Survey was celebrated from October 7th to 10th at the Utah Core Research Center.

Activities include panning for “gold,” learning about rocks and the rock cycle, identifying minerals, observing stream erosion and deposition, and seeing how fossils are prepared in the lab.  To see photos from previous years, visit the UGS website at

This year we had 863 students participate in Earth Science Week (ESW), along with about 60 parents and 35 teachers consisting of seven public schools, one private school, and six home schools.  In addition to Utah Geological Survey staff, many volunteers contributed to the success of ESW including personnel from the Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining and the Division of Water Resources; Utah’s Office of Energy Development; the organizations R.O.C.K. (Rockhounder’s Outreach for Community Knowledge),  A.W.G.  (Association of Women Geoscientists, Utah Chapter), and the U.G.A. (Utah Geological Association); and from the private sector, Professional Service Industries, Inc., and North American Exploration, Inc.  Additionally, minerals were provided by Utah Kennecott Copper, CML Metals Co., and U.S. Magnesium.

After reviewing critiques from teachers and students, we think that ESW 2013 was a success.  Here’s some of the kudos:

Teacher Quotes

“The students loved it, the parents with us enjoyed it, and the other 4th grade teachers thought it was great” Oakwood Elementary

“The teaching was exceptional.  The rotations were just so interesting . . . the adult parents were all marveling how much great training their kids got . . .”  Sunrise Elementary

“It’s the best thing out there”  Sharon Walkington, Governor’s Medal Recipient for Volunteerism

Student Quotes

“It was so fun when I got home I told my mom everything about the trip”

“It is the best place ever you guys rock”

“I liked when we did the sand dams and what would happen if you lived on top of one”

“We had a blast!!!!”

“I am planning on coming back with my whole family.”

It was a VERY and I mean very cool trip, in fact I want to go again.”

“I just wanted to tell you guys that was the best field trip I had ever gone on.”

“The best part I think was panning for rocks and minerals.  Of course though, lots of kids liked that.  When I got home, I tricked my little brother into thinking it was real gold!  No wonder they call it fool’s gold”