PARTNERSHIPS FOR GEOLOGY EDUCATION WITH QUARRIES, MUSEUMS, AND GEOLOGY PARK
The Falls of the State Park has offered programs to over 200,000 students pre-K to graduate school since 1990. Educational programs include hikes and outdoor labs on the fossil beds. Indoor labs are in the winter and spring when the river level is high and the weather is not favorable for outdoor programs. Extensive professional development is offered in paleontology, classroom resources and evolution in the summer. The park preserves a Devonian coral bioherm.
The Ben F. Clement Mineral Museum in partnership with the Frazer's (owners of several mines on the Kentucky portion of the Illinois-Kentucky fluorite district) allowing geology groups to collect minerals on their property. Dumps and mineralized veins have been exposed to keep fresh material available. Visitors have dug minerals and visited the museum in the past three years since an aggressive program to promote the museum began. University geology departments are invited to use these resources.
Aggregate quarries provide unique opportunities to geologists and others who are interested in understanding local earth materials. Although liability issues have forced many companies to drastically reduce (or in some cases eliminate) access to their sites, there are still many ways in which Indiana mine operators can still be helpful. Many producers still host controlled tours and even safe collecting opportunities for legitimate groups. Others have preserved our natural history through access and donations to the different state museums. The Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association hosts a 3-day teacher workshop to learn about the aggregates industry in Indiana through lectures, hands-on activities and tours (including gravel pits, stone quarries and underground mines). Best of all, member companies "sponsor" the teachers and cover their costs.