29th Annual Southern Nevada Mineral Education Workshop

hosted by Nevada Mining Association & Nevada Division of Minerals

Faith Lutheran High School

Start: Tuesday, 27 Mar 2018 07:00

End: Wednesday, 28 Mar 2018 05:30

  • Quick find - Click any of the links below to view the corresponding sessions:

  • Sessions:


    Tuesday & Wednesday, March 27-28, 2018 – Class/Session Descriptions


    Session 1 - 8:25am-10:10am

    Session 1 - Minerals with D.D. LaPointe

    Grade Recommendation K-8

    We will review some common properties of different minerals (color, streak, hardness, transparency, smell) and explore in detail some other properties (density, crystal structure, and form, ductility, malleability) and discuss possible relationships between these properties and the minerals’ chemistry and uses.

    Participants will receive a box of labeled mineral specimens for use in their classrooms.

    Session 1 - Advanced Minerals with Lucia Patterson

    Grade Recommendation 9-12 (Previous attendance of workshop required)

    In this hands-on session, participants will learn the importance of knowing how to identify minerals, their physical properties, and uses. We will review what a mineral is and common properties of minerals (color, streak, transparency, smell) and use these properties to identify a group of minerals.
    The goal of this session is to identify a suite of minerals and establish the most reasonable environment each group of minerals came from.

    Participants will receive a box of labeled mineral specimens for use in their classrooms.


    Session 1 - Minerals with Terry Jennings & Rob G.

    Grade recommendation K-8

    MINERAL DETECTIVE - In a hands-on activity, participants will examine the physical properties of some minerals produced in Nevada using the physical senses (sight, smell, touch, even taste) and some basic scientific equipment and discuss the relationships between the minerals' physical and chemical properties and their unique uses in our everyday lives.

    This class will conclude with an advanced group mineral identification exercise using the examination skills participants have just learned.

    Participants will receive a box of labeled mineral specimens for use in their classrooms.


    Session 1 - Minerals with Rachel Micander

    Grade Recommendation K-8

    In this hands-on session, participants will review common mineral properties including color, streak, hardness, density, luster (shine), and smell. We will test these minerals with tools provided in the test kits, discuss the uses of these minerals in daily life, and take a look at where these minerals occur throughout Nevada. We will also be incorporating a creative writing assignment as time allows.

    Participants will receive a box of labeled mineral specimens for use in their classrooms.


    Session 1 - Minerals with Jon Price

    Grade recommendation 9-12

    We will examine mineral specimens and discuss how geologists use their properties to identify minerals and how people use these minerals in their daily lives. Participants will be challenged to use the properties that they can determine in the classroom, with simple tools provided in the bag of materials provided to each teacher, to come up with a working definition for what a mineral is.

    Participants will receive a box of labeled mineral specimens for use in their classrooms.


    Session 2 - 10:20am – 12:05pm

    Session 2 - Rocks Level 1 with D.D. LaPointe

    Grade recommendation K-8

    Nevada Rocks!! Presented by D. D. LaPointe, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. In this session, we will start with a general discussion of rock types and their origins, faulting and folding, and a basic introduction to map-reading skills. Then you will learn to use some of the tools a geologist uses to learn from the rocks in an area to construct a simple geologic history for a county in Nevada. We will use geologic map timelines and other information, rocks, and other information. Like any history or report, it should include information on “when, what, where, and who” and should describe the geologic processes and environments of formation each kind of rock in that area (volcanoes, faulting/earthquakes). Each group will report on the geologic history of their county. Most suited to intermediate grade levels (6-8) but adaptable to grades from upper elementary through high school. Participants will receive a box of labeled rock specimens for use in their classrooms.


    Session 2 – Advanced Rocks and Geology with Lucia Patterson

    Grade recommendation 9-12 (Previous attendance of workshop required)

    Participants will review the three basic rock types, how they are formed, and be introduced to stratigraphy – a branch of geology. Using an identification key, participants will identify rocks in a stratigraphic section of Nevada specimens and answer questions about them in order to determine their origin.  The goal of this session is to use features identified in hand samples of rock to develop a narrative description of the depositional environment for the stratigraphic section of rocks.
    Lesson plans Will be available on the NMA CD provided at the conference.

    Participants will receive a box of labeled rock specimens for use in their classrooms


    Session 2 - Rocks with Terry Jennings & Rob G.

    Grade recommendation:  K-8

    Participants will investigate rocks and learn how to classify and identify rocks. We will start with a general discussion of rock types and their origins. You will use a rock key to ask and answer questions on unknown rock specimens (provided) in order to find the correct rock identification. The goal of this session is for you to become comfortable with looking at rocks and making an identification based on those observations.


    Session 2 - Rocks with Rachel Micander

    Grade recommendation:  K-8

    Rocks and Geology. Classification of rocks, the "Rock Cycle", hands-on activities demonstrating the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. 
    Participants will receive a box of labeled rock specimens for use in their classrooms.


    Session 2 - Rocks with Jon Price

    Grade recommendation:  9-12

    Participants will use the box of labeled rock specimens provided to each person to figure out how some rocks are used in modern society.  We’ll try to come up with a classification scheme for rocks that avoids the presumptions about the origin as either igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary, and we’ll look at rocks that demonstrate how geologists are often confused when they first visit an outcrop.

    Session 3 - Wedensday- 8:10am-9:40am

    Session 3 - Nevada's Natural Resources – Patti

    Grade recommendation K-12

    In this presentation, we will do four activities (rocks, minerals, mapping, a video) to learn about the natural resources in Nevada. We will discuss the amount of minerals every American needs every year. Many of these minerals are mined in Nevada. We will learn about where in Nevada many are mined, and which minerals are needed to build a soccer ball, a TV, a cell phone, and a bicycle. Attendees will gather in similar grade level groups to discuss these activities while they are doing them. Attendees will choose a free book to take back for their own class library.


     Session 3 –Geologic Time and Fossils – Lucia P. / Courtney Brailo

    Grade recommendation K-8

    Participants will explore the geologic history of planet Earth as well as the evolution of life. Participants will piece together the geologic time scale then actively participate in a presentation exploring our geologic history and evolution. Participants will be able to examine actual fossils that span Geologic Time, learn about plate tectonics and how fossils were/are formed. This class also allows participants to make their own "fossil" paperweights.


    Session 3 – Natural Disasters – Maureen Leshendok

    Grade recommendation:  5-12

    Participants will learn about various natural disasters, including the basic scientific process of each type, specific effects, how the scientific method is used to study natural disasters, how natural disasters are measured, how they may be linked to other disasters, how human beings may cause or make a potential disaster worse, and methods for predicting, warning, preparing for, mitigating, and recovering from the effects of natural disasters. The session includes discussion, hands-on activities, a writing exercise, and sharing ideas for using natural disasters as a springboard for writing across the curriculum, history, social and political science, and science.

    Session 3 – Mineral Uses – D.D. LaPointe
    Grade recommendation:  4-12

    This class will expand upon what teachers learned about minerals in the mineral identification class. We will explore several hands-on activities that explore mineral properties and uses:
    1. Mineral Scavenger Hunt: (find as many different objects as possible made from one mineral)
    2. Where did This Come From? (find all the different minerals used to make one common household item) and
    3. Crazy Crystals: build a simple model of a basic unit cell of a mineral crystal and use it to display information learned about that mineral description)

    Session 3 – History of Mining – Sam M.

    Grade recommendation K-6.

    Students will learn how mining has been integral to Nevada’s history, from Native American use of its mineral wealth to fashion arrowheads, spear points, and tools to today’s modern industrial mining operations. Modern-day mining in Nevada is a high-tech business, not a get-rich-quick dream. Hands-on activities will be included to show how technology has evolved in Nevada’s mining history. Modernization in technology had an overwhelming effect on the development of mines. New technology raised productivity dramatically. In no other area did modern technology have such a profound effect. That is, how traditional technology was enhanced by modern technology.


    Session 3 – Plate Tectonics - Rachel and Garrett

    Grade recommendation: 4-12

    In this session, we will discuss plate tectonics and the behavior of the Earth’s crust under different types of stresses. We will review different plate boundaries and model different types of faults and folds using a variety of hands-on activities that teachers can take to their classrooms.


    Session 3 – Critical Elements of Energy – Jon P

    Grade recommendation 6-12

    This activity will present and discuss issues concerning the global demand and supply of mineral resources, particularly those that are critical for emerging technologies in energy efficiency and renewable energy, including rare earth elements, lithium, copper, and elements that are likely to be key in the development of alternatives to current mainstream power generation. Attendees will investigate which elements are critical for the development of a 'green society,' whether it be by use of solar, wind, other types of renewable energy, and discuss the geopolitical aspects of the uneven distribution of these mineral resources throughout the world.

    Session 4 - Wednesday- 9:50am – 11:20am

    Session 4 – Cupcake Core Drilling – Lucia P.

    Grade recommendation: 6-12

    Trying to "see" what is beneath the surface of the earth is one of the jobs of a geologist. Surface mapping and sampling provide limited information in two dimensions only. Rather than digging up vast tracts of land to expose different types of rocks or mineral-bearing strata, drilling methods are employed which allow geologists to recover rock cores or rock chips that can be analyzed to determine the composition of the earth’s interior at a given point. Multiple drill holes help to fill in the three-dimensional picture. In this activity, students model core sampling techniques to find out what sort of layers are in a cupcake. 

    Session 4 – Geothermal Energy – Courtney B.

    Grade recommendation 6-12

    Learn about the locations of Nevada’s geothermal plants and how they work. Part 1 of the class will be an overview of well designs, different types of geothermal power plants, and injection wells. Part 2 of the class will be an activity where participants will make their own geothermal plant using dry-ice steam, a pinwheel, magnets, and copper wire to illuminate a LED light.

    Session 4 – Build a Mine – Joe R. / Rob G.

    Grade recommendation: 6-12

    We will briefly cover historic mining methods and then focus on today’s mining practices. Modern mining requires years of research factoring the price of commodities and environmental factors before mining methods are decided. Participants will be exposed to a hands-on exercise where students will develop their own mine while evaluating the cost and environmental impacts.

    Session 4 – Extraction: Where do AU, Ag, and Cu come from? – Ginger/ Beth

    Grade recommendation: 3-8

    This session will introduce you to the concept of extracting valuable minerals from the rock that contains these minerals. Students will be introduced to three basic ways of treating metallic ores in order to extract their metal content: Pyro-metallurgy, electrometallurgy, and hydrometallurgy.

    Session 4 – Edible Geology – Sam M.

    Grade recommendation K-8

    There are three different types of rocks: Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic. Learn about each different type of rock through a fun activity using food and cooking as a medium.

    Session 4 – Rock Cycle and Mineral Deposits: Come along for the ride! – Jon P.

    Grade recommendation 7-12

    A game where students collect and analyze data associated with ‘riding’ the rock cycle, changing from one rock type to another rock type, through time. Once they collect the data they are required to create and evaluate the geologic history of the trip. Could they have become a gold deposit in Nevada, a copper deposit in Arizona, a phosphate deposit in Florida, or sand and gravel deposit?  

    Helps students understand that the formation and preservation of rock and mineral deposits of economic value are rare. Certain types of deposits are rarer than others and more limited in space and time.


    Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Tour Description

    Field Trip D1-1: Las Vegas Rock

    The tour group will visit Las Vegas Rock's finishing facility in Jean, Nevada. Las Vegas Rock mines and produces Jurassic Aztec Sandstone from their quarry located 6 miles north of Goodsprings at the foot of Mt. Potosi. The quarried rock is transported by truck to the Jean facility. The attractive red-brown sandstone is prized for both architecture and landscaping. See state-of-the-art slabbing, cutting and polishing equipment in action that transforms the quarried sandstone into a variety of spectacular products including flooring, countertops, monuments and memorials, and landscaping rock.

    Field Trip D1-2: Timet/Sloan

    Get description

    Field Trip D1-3: LHoist

    The Lhoist limestone mine is located at Apex, adjacent to Georgia Pacific's wallboard plant. The large open-pit mine produces lime for construction materials (cement) and chemical purposes. The adjacent processing facility includes large rotary kilns used to calcine the limestone ore, thereby making a usable product for market.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – Tour Description

    Field Trip D2-1: Frenchman Mountain / Great Unconformity

    Located east of Las Vegas, Frenchman Mountain is made up of rocks similar to those found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Frenchman Mountain formed when faulting elevated and tilted the rocks followed by erosion, giving it its sharp triangular profile. It is the site of the Great Unconformity with the tilted Paleozoic strata underlain by Paleoproterozoic Vishnu Schist, which is some of the oldest rock on the North American continent, having been created about two billion years ago. The peak lies on a north to north-northeast trending ridge about 2000 feet above the nearby valleys. A geologically rich area called Rainbow Gardens is located to its southeast, as is an igneous laccolith, Lava Butte. The Frenchman Mountain Fault poses a significant earthquake danger to the Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas) region. It is commonly, and mistakenly, referred to as Sunrise Mountain, the name of a smaller peak to the north of Frenchman Mountain.

    Field Trip D2-2: Red Rock National Conservation Area

    The Red Rock Canyon NCA is located about 15 miles west of Las Vegas. The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations: a set of sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust. The walls are up to 3,000 feet high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. The highest point is La Madre Mountain, at 8,154 feet. A one-way loop road, 13 miles long, provides vehicle access to many of the features in the area. Several side roads and parking areas allow access to many of the area trails. A visitor center is located at the start of the loop road.

    Field Trip D2-3: Tule Springs Fossil Beds

    Ice Age Fossils State Park is nested within the larger Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument; both parks were established for their unique and nationally important paleontological resources. These lands contain fossils from the Late Pleistocene, dating between 11,500 to 250,000 years, including the Columbian Mammoth, American Lion, camel, dire wolf, saber-tooth cat, giant ground sloth, bison, an extinct horse. Both parks are in the beginning stages of development so there are no facilities such as a visitor center or restrooms, although a restroom is available on the tour bus. This tour will hike out onto the state lands, hiking level moderate, and round-trip length of roughly 2 miles. Field trip participants should wear hiking boots or athletic shoes, a hat, appropriate hiking clothing, sunblock, and bring plenty of water. We will view fossils although fossil collection of any kind is prohibited.


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