TerraElm

Program Outline

outlineWe focus on presenting to 5th grade students the basics of the geological sciences profession and in a more general sense science; as well as finding a career path that can allow for you to be active and not be confined to a sedentary position. We want to introduce young children to science and show them it can be fun, and that they have more options for the future than they may realize. I try to make the presentations fall on dates where me and a fellow geologist (a female) can present together. The reason for this is to show the young girls that anyone, not just old white men, can be a scientist. Eventually we hope to expand into other nearby regions as students and professionals show us they are willing to help, present, and fund this endeavor.   The presentations entail: (approximately 1h in length, to no more than 30 children at a time)

  • Providing Texas Rock kits purchased from the Bureau of Economic Geology in Austin, in the form of a class set of approximately 30 kits, for use during the presentation and as a gift to each individual school for future use.
  • A framed and mounted Geologic Map of the state of Texas. (initially a poster)
  • Fossils what they are and how they form (provide free of charge fossils collected and given to aid this program), with an accompanying geologic time scale to show how old they are. (something else, to reward the smarter children) 
  • Oral presentation focused on:     
    • Introductions
    • Ask the students what they think geologists actually do
    • What are minerals and how you can identify them
    • What are the three kind of rocks and how they form, including physical properties of some
    • Touch on rock cycle as time permits
    • Fossils, gastropods (snail like creatures from the Cretaceous), what they are and how they form and other interesting notes as time allows.
    • Describing geologic maps and what they can tell us
    • Fluorescent minerals and rocks, at the end of the presentation showing the students a set of, “glow in the dark rocks”
    • What can you do as a geologist, professions around the world

One of the most important aspects of our program is getting the children involved with the presentation, instead of just talking at them for an hour. The majority of the time spent at the schools involves having the children examine rocks, minerals and fossils as we instruct them how.

We have been the following schools to date: (30 total, 2 three times)

School, Date Presented City (State: TX)
Hill country Elementary, April 14th 2011, 2012 San Antonio
Stewart Elementary, January 19th 2011 San Antonio
Riverside Park Academy, January 12th 2011 San Antonio
Bonham Academy, November 30th 2010 San Antonio
Nelson Elementary, November 19th 2010 San Antonio
Huppertz Elementary, November 18th 2010 San Antonio
Baskin Academy, November 9th 2010, 2011, 2012 San Antonio
Cotton Elementary, October 15th 2010 and Spring 2010, 2011, 2012 San Antonio
Oyster Creek Elementary, March 25th 2014 Houston/Katy
Stehlik Intermediate, March 27th 2014 Houston/Katy
Treasure Forest Elementary, April 8th 2014 Houston/Katy
Oakland Elementary, April 15th and 17th 2014 Houston/Katy
McNeil Elementary, April 3rd 2014 Houston/Katy
Bear Creek Elementary, April 10th 2014 Houston/Katy
Rhoads Elementary, April 4th 2014 Houston/Katy
Bonnie Hollard Elementary, March 18th and 20th 2014 Houston/Katy
Nottingham Country Elementary, March 21st 2014 Houston/Katy
Hollibrook Elementary, April 5th 2014 Houston/Katy
Treasure Forest Elementary, April 8th 2014 Houston/Katy
Bear Creek Elementary, April 10th 2014 Houston/Katy
Oakland Elementary, April 15th and 17th 2014 Houston/Katy
McArthur Elementary, May 2nd 2014 Houston/Katy
Alexander Elementary, May 6th and 8th 2014 Houston/Katy
North Belt Elementary, May 9th 2014 Houston/Katy
Wolfe Elementary School, May 20th 2014 Houston/Katy
McArthur Elementary, June 3rd 2014 Galena Park
Eagle Springs Elementary, October 27th 2014 Humble
Stanley Elementary November 3rd and 5th 2014 Houston/Katy
Jack Fields Elementary, November 17th 2014 Humble
DeAnda Elementary, November 24th 2014 Houston/Katy

Impact Estimate:

If there are approximately 25 children in a class, and 4 – 6 classes per school visit, and I have visited 34 schools, I have reached between 3400 – 5100 total students. (Several schools are counted twice due to annual visits)

We hope to get enough funding and volunteers to contribute to make this a reoccurring event, going back to each school at least once every other year, preferably once each year and giving a similar talk/lesson to the new group of 5th graders.

Thank you,

Peter Zachary Anderson, Program Co-Founder

Crystal Marie Saadeh, Program Coordinator

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