Elementary and high school teachers from across the state gathered for the Illinois Teachers Workshop: Rocks, Minerals & Mining in Today’s Society, presented by the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP). The workshop was held July 21 to 23 at the Stoney Creek Inn in Moline, Ill.
Members of the IAAP Public Information and Education Committee brought together thirty-four teachers this year for lectures and hands-on activities presented by government, industry and academic professionals exploring Illinois geology, fossils, aggregate mining, and minerals in our everyday lives. During two field trips, teachers visited the Fryxell Geology Museum at Augustana College in Rock Island, observed geologic formations at Blackhawk State Historic Site, mining operations owned by RiverStone Group including fossil hunting at the Midway quarry in Hillsdale and crushed stone processing at the Allied quarry on Vandruff Island. Hands-on activities such as cookie mining and layer cake core drilling allowed teachers to experience fun and exciting ways to engage students in learning about geological processes and mining economics. Other seminars, including the Life Cycle of a Mine: Exploration to Operation to Reclamation and Rocks and Minerals in Today’s World, helped to illustrate the connection between the products we use today and the raw material source.
“Rocks and minerals are used in the foundation of our homes, shingles on the roof, and nearly every material in between, as well as a wide variety of essential products including medicine, food, and electronics,” said Shawn McKinney, IAAP outreach manager. “Teachers even made their own toothpaste using limestone and other ingredients.”
All of the information and activities presented, as well as numerous educational materials provided to the teachers, were designed to have practical applications for students in their classrooms. Teachers completing the workshop received continuing professional development unit credit and optional graduate degree hours from Illinois State University.
This was the twelfth year for the Illinois Teachers Workshop. Funding is provided by generous contributions from IAAP member companies who sponsor teachers, as well as money raised during the IAAP Annual Convention and the IAAP Golf Outing each year. The IAAP is a trade association representing 100 producer companies in 71 counties mining more than 90 percent of Illinois’s aggregate and 127 associate member companies providing goods and services to the industry.
For more information about Illinois Teachers Workshop, call 217/241-1639 or visit www.iaap-aggregates.org.