Museum offers chance to discover geology
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors can dig into geology and discover the ground beneath their feet at the sixth annual “Can You Dig It?” at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 17.
This free, family-friendly event is sponsored by the University of Florida department of geological sciences and features hands-on activities and engaging demonstrations from the Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society, Jackson Stoneworks and Santa Fe College.
“We’ve added some new displays and tables this year,” said Matt Smith, lecturer for the UF department of geological sciences. “We really want to get the people and kids out to see what geology is all about. Lots of kids don’t know what geologists actually do, so every year we try to mix it up and make the event better.”
Some of the new activities this year include demonstrations of making sharp tools from stone, known as knapping, as well as information about the ways minerals are used in our homes and daily lives, how granite countertops are created and what mud and lake sediment can reveal about ancient climate change.
Visitors may also see demonstrations of volcanic eruptions, dig in a “gem mine” to find fossils, gems, rocks and other treasures or watch gem cutting and jewelry making to see how rough stones become finished jewels.
Smith explained the event also seeks to educate students about careers in geological sciences.
“Right now it’s one of the top rated careers by the Department of Labor,” he said. “It’s a career path that has a bright future.”
Visitors may also win prizes by collecting stamps from each activity table during the event.
Food from High Springs Orchard and Bakery and The Pearl Country Store and Barbecue will be available for purchase.
Last year more than 1,500 people attended the event.
For more information, visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/education/canyoudigit.htm or call 352-273-2062.