Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM


VEATCH, Steven Wade, Emporia State University, Earth Science Department, 1823 South Mountain Estates Road, Florissant, CO 80816, SHIMON, Julie A., Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society, 15930 Longmeadow Ln, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, CARNEIN, Carl Robert, Emeritus Associate Professor of Geology, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, 507 Donzi Trail, Florissant, CO 80816, RAKOWSKI, John M., Lake George Gem and Mineral Club, P.O. Box 608, Florissant, CO 80816, CAIN, Betty B., Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies, 2702 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80909, SEPULVEDA, Zachary J., Colorado Scientific Society, 20355 True Vista Circle, Monument, CO 80816, JARZEN, David M., Paleobotany and Paleoecology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle, Cleveland, OH 44106, CRUICKSHANKS, Alister, Deposits Magazine, UKGE LTD, Reydon Business Park, Southwold, IP18 6QX, United Kingdom and WOLIN, Jeff, National Park Service, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, P.O. Box 185, Florissant, CO 80816,

Central Colorado provides a perfect setting for young people to learn about the geosciences. The Pikes Peak Pebble Pups and Earth-Science Scholars programs foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking among their participants. The two groups collaborate with local and regional museums, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, the Science Olympiad, Cool Science, and the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies to introduce elementary and high school students to many facets of the Earth sciences that cannot be covered in the standard curriculum. The programs stress "thinking outside of the box," and encourage students to integrate Earth-science research with poetry writing, drawing, painting, and photography. Participants then communicate their knowledge through a blog site, and publication in newspapers, newsletters, and an international Earth-science magazine. Review of projects by publication editors and local geologists encourages critical thinking.

The resulting accomplishments of our participants speak for themselves. Students recently achieved first-and third-place rankings in the National Park Service's art contest for National Fossil Day. One student poet was a finalist in the nation, receiving a medal from the U.S. Poet Laureate. Another ranked first in Colorado for geoscience poetry. A book of collected student poetry about the Earth sciences has been published. A teen Earth-science scholar presented a paper at an Ice Age symposium held on the Colorado School of Mines campus.

The PPPP/ESS programs meet monthly during the school year. Because they provide a variety of paths for students to express their creative energies, the retention rate is very high. The combination of a focused learning environment and an informal setting allows for more personal and meaningful interactions between the educators and their students. Freedom to explore topics without the strictures imposed by a formal learning environment yields intellectual and emotional growth, as well as increased self confidence. Collaboration with peers and professional geoscientists encourages teamwork and rigor. We believe the programs have proven their value and will benefit our students and enrich their lives, no matter what career paths they follow.