Teachers Rock at IAAP Workshop

Wed September 02, 2009 - Midwest Edition
CEG

Fossil hunting at a rock outcropping in Vienna.
Fossil hunting at a rock outcropping in Vienna.



From all across Illinois, teachers gathered for the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers’ (IAAP) Illinois Teachers Workshop: Rocks, Minerals & Mining in Today’s Society. The workshop was held July 20 to 22 at the Brehm Preparatory School in Carbondale, Ill.

This annual opportunity allows teachers to refresh their knowledge of earth science and learn about the importance of various minerals and aggregates.

Thirty-seven elementary and high school teachers attended lectures and participated in hands-on activities presented by government, industry and academic professionals and took advantage of the opportunity to meet individuals working in the aggregates industry during the welcoming dinner sponsored by Hastie Mining and Trucking, Martin Marietta Aggregates, Southern Illinois Stone and Shakespeare Aggregates.

During the workshop, teachers hunted for fossils at a rock outcropping in Vienna, Ill., and observed mining operations, crushed stone processing and asphalt production at Southern Illinois Stone’s Buncombe Quarry. Anna Quarries offered the opportunity to witness a shot and also treated everyone to lunch before touring the production facilities. 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 and Fluorspar the Illinois State Mineral, helped to illustrate the connection between the products we use today and the raw material source. Each activity teachers experienced helped them to explore Illinois geology, fossils, aggregate mining, or minerals in our everyday lives.

This was the thirteenth year for the Illinois Teachers Workshop, an educational initiative of the IAAP Public Information and Education Committee chaired by Becky Kazmierski of H.H. Holmes Testing Laboratories Inc.

“Our teachers are amazed by the quality of this workshop and the information we provide about the aggregates industry and geology,” said Kazmierski. “We really put a lot of effort into making it exciting with a mix of lectures, activities, and field trips.”

Teachers tell her it will be fun to share the hands-on activities with their students.

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.

Workshop funding is provided by generous contributions from IAAP member companies who sponsor teachers, as well as money raised during the Annual Convention and the Golf Outing.

Next year’s workshop will be held in Galena, Ill., July 19 to 21.

For more information, 217/241-1639.