Paper No. 26-2
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM
GEOSCIENCE AT THE LIBRARY : EXPERIENCES IN STUDENT-LED COMMUNITY OUTREACH
For three years, members of the Eastern Illinois University Geoscience Club, with assistance from faculty of the Geology/Geography Department, have led geoscience education programs at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library for the library’s Kidspace. Our program was developed and integrated into the existing summer reading and monthly crafts programs in order to build the children’s interest in fossils, rocks, and minerals and educate the children on how geoscience is a part of their lives. Financial support for the program was from both the Department of Geology/Geography at EIU and the Library, and the presentations performed by student and faculty volunteers. Our projects were created for minimal lecture with a focus on interactive, exploratory crafts and activities, including digging up fossils and minerals, paper craft crystals and dinosaurs, scavenger hunts, and even coloring. Because our groups often had wide age ranges, the plans had to be simple without being too boring for older kids. Emphasis was made in each program to leave the participants with something to take home-either fossil or mineral samples or crafts made in the program.