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Throughout the year we are involved in an expanding set of events to highlight the worlds of mineralogy and geology.
Here are the events we currently have planned.
Each year in May students in grades 3-12 attend a fee-free day of fun and education. Between 50-100 volunteers help staff 20-30 different education stations where students engage in learning. Some are hands-on, such as sluicing for minerals and breaking rocks. Each year we have world class mineral specimens from the various areas of Maine and New England where most of the participants live. These specimens are on display with knowledgeable volunteers to explain what they are viewing. We have a large meteorite that is available not only to see, but to touch.
The Micromounters of New England bring their microscopes and small mineral specimens for students to look at. We have a large display case of fluorescent (rocks that glow under ultraviolet light) minerals which students love. We have had scientists showing a flame test to help identify minerals, a gem cutter teaching how "rough" is faceted into gemstones and many more stations. For more information on participating in Education Day, please click here. To add your name to our growing group of volunteers, please contact us here.
Along with Education Day we hold a research poster contest with the best posters on display at the New England Mineral Conference. The highest scoring submitted posters receive prizes, such as a week at a geology camp or a day of mining with one of the local miners. For more information on the Poster Contest, please click here.
Our second day of mineral education with teachers was held in March of 2018 and it was very successful. Contact hours are offered, along with a great meal. Teachers are provided with authentic ways to bring education about New England minerals directly into their classrooms so the information is relevant to students and applicable to their lives. We plan to have multiple opportunities in this and future years. If you are interested, please contact Roland Charles here.
Over 1000 students come to the Oxford, Maine Fair every year in August for an education day event, and for several years, in great part to the provision of space in a building rented by Maine Mineral Adventures, we have participated by providing an informational table. As there is ample space for others to join us, anyone that would like to obtain selling space at the Oxford Fair, please contact Jody Matolcsy at 207.890.9753. To volunteer to help NEMA at the Fairs, please contact Jan Morrison here.
At Kid's Day in September, around 1000 students, parents, and community members come and see some of the different activities and events that are available to them both through the school and in the larger community of Farwell Elementary School in Lewiston. 2017 was our inaugural year at this fun event. We provided a sifting pool where kids could take a bag of tailing materials and look for mineral specimens, and, in conjunction with Maine Mineralogical and Gem Society filled several tables with rock, mineral and gem displays (rock properties, showcase of gems, fluorescing minerals). If your school holds such an event, please contact us here to bring the traveling rock show to your event.
Who in the mineral world doesn't like a Tailgate Sale? NEMA organized our first Tailgate Sales party specializing in rocks and minerals of New England. This initial sale was held at the Havey Quarry in October of 2017, and was very successful with 15 dealers and over 200 participants. This will be an annual fund raising event for NEMA. In future years will have the addition of educational components for students. Food was also available for purchase. If you'd like to be a dealer at the sale, please contact Jeff here. If you'd like to be added to our email list to receive an invite to the Tailgate Sale as well as other mailings, please contact us here.
For several years we have been participating in the Maine Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum in Augusta. We provide a display and staff an informational table for the day. In 2017 there were over 1300 visitors including eleven school student bodies, countless homeschooling groups, and families from all over the state.
On a wild Friday in the summertime, NEMA volunteers pack up and head to the Maine Wildlife Park in Grey and bring a condensed version of Education Day to the park. Kids are able to wash minerals and take home their finds. Even more come and ask questions at the various exhibits and games we set up, and we see several of them at the Conference in the spring. We also send excited families toward membership at the various clubs throughout their states. We've had Californians, Virginians, Floridians, and many from across New England. We appreciate Maine Wildlife for inviting us; they are great folks, and we love working with them! If you'd like to volunteer to help with this event, please contact Jan here.