We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.

Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

The full program takes a solid 90 minutes.
The full digital program gives details of this history and also some background on how we came to know these things. The abridged program will give the highlights of the history.

If time is limited, we can offer either the digital program or the rock identification workshop. The rock identification component of this program may be difficult to offer on the same day as Starlab because both require a lot of transport space.

See the main Programs page for pricing details and a contact form.

Following are Massachusetts Science Curriculum topics that are addressed in this program:

Earth and Space Science
Earth’s Materials
1 Recognize that water, rocks, soil, and living organisms are found on the earth’s surface.

Earth and Space Science
Rocks and Their Properties
1 Give a simple explanation of what a mineral is and some examples, e.g., quartz, mica.

3 Identify the three categories of rocks (metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary) based on how they are formed, and explain the natural and physical processes that create these rocks.

Earth’s History
12 Give examples of how the surface of the earth changes due to slow processes such as erosion and weathering, and rapid processes such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

Earth and Space Science
Structure of the Earth
1 Earth’s common physical features can be represented with models and maps.

2 Describe the layers of the earth, including the lithosphere, the hot convecting mantle, and the dense metallic core.

Earth’s History
5 Movement of the earth’s crustal plates causes both slow and rapid changes in the earth’s surface.

7. Physical evidence supports theories that the earth has evolved over geologic time.

Earth and Space Science
Earth Processes and Cycles
3.6 Describe the rock cycle, and the processes that are responsible for the formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Compare the physical properties of these rock types and the physical properties of common rock-forming minerals

3.8 The development of a lithospheric plate from its growth to its destruction, including the recording of magnetic polarity.

3.9 The motion of the lithospheric plates is related to convection currents in Earth’s mantle.

3.11 Explain how seismic data are used to reveal Earth’s interior structure and to locate earthquake epicenters.

Matter and Energy in the Earth System
1.1 Identify Earth’s principal sources of internal and external energy, such as radioactive decay, gravity, and solar energy.

Contact me with this form or call 413-267-4757
Additional details are at the bottom of the main programs page

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