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Rocks, Minerals, Fossils And Fun

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Students examine a large sample of the Anna Shale containing numerous Pennsylvanian age brachiopod fossils.

On Thursday May 21 the Third Grade classes at Nashville Primary School took part in learning about rocks and minerals and where we use them in our lives.

They began listening to a short presentation given by Greg Gollaher, geological engineer, about economic minerals produced in Illinois and surrounding states and handling samples of the rocks and minerals.

As the samples of each one were passed around, the students discussed their individual traits and where each materials in use in their school building and their homes.

After the presentation, the children had opportunities for hands on examination of a number of samples of rocks, crystalline minerals, and fossils.

Junior paleontologists identified several types of brachiopod and trilobite fossils and felt the texture of 300 million year old lycopod tree bark.

The junior geologists identified minerals by color, crystal shape, reaction, streak, and other unique properties just like geologists do. A box full of Keokuk geodes from Hamilton Illinois was particularly popular.

Local coal, rock, and fossil samples were provided by Knight Hawk Coal in Pinckneyville, a number coal combustion products were provided by Prairie State Generating Company in Marissa.

The children took home samples of Illinois coal, fluorite, and limestone provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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