GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 228-9
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


STURGEON, Polly Root, COOK, Kimberly J. and MOTZ, Gary J., Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405

A significant challenge in providing inquiry-based geoscience activities is the lack of collections for classroom exploration and investigation. High-quality rock, mineral, core, and fossil specimens can be exceedingly delicate, rare, and expensive for K-12 teachers and informal educators to obtain, and collections of these materials are often hidden behind university and museum walls. Many of the advances in the digitization of physical samples are oriented towards scientific research, but can provide valuable interest in samples-based observation if made accessible to a broader audience. Recent initiatives at the Indiana Geological and Water Survey seek to democratize the access of museum-quality specimens for use in educational programming. Through digitization, 3-D printing, StoryMaps, digital collection viewers, and loaned Discovery Trunks, educators can leverage university resources to support inquiry-based class activities. When linked with classroom exercises, these efforts provide educators with the tools to harness geological collections and explore Earth processes, geoscience careers, and the scientific process.