GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 190-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


CRISCIONE, Julia1, NEITZKE ADAMO, Lauren1 and IRIZARRY-BARRETO, Patricia2, (1)Rutgers University Geology Museum, Rutgers University, Geology Hall, 85 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, (2)Rutgers University, Rutgers Science Explorer Bus & Geology Museum, Allison Road Classroom Building, 618 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

The Rutgers Geology Museum is dedicated to educating the general public through exhibits, tours, field trips, and other special programs. To reinforce this mission, we recently introduced a series of “Patch Programs” aimed at Girl Scout, Boy Scout, and 4H groups. The leaders of these groups are actively seeking STEM programming and look to museums and similar organizations to provide these types of experiences. In order to meet this increasing need, we developed two Patch Programs: the Fossil Fun Patch Tour and the Amazing Minerals Patch Tour. Each tour goes over a specific geology-related concept and includes a hands-on, educational lesson kit for participants to bring home. The Fossil Fun Patch Tour focuses on the different types of fossils and how they are formed, while the Amazing Minerals Patch Tour explains the three rock types and how geologists classify and describe minerals. As part of each tour, we also provide participants with a patch that can be added to their scout vest as a reward for learning about the specific STEM concept. These patch tours were designed in order to provide a variety of STEM-themed content that fills gaps between the official Scout Merit Badges and the science topics taught in K-12 classrooms. These tours are also perfect for school groups because they have been designed to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This program has been very successful in its first year, with over 350 students participating thus far. In addition to the Amazing Minerals and Fossil Fun Patch Tours currently offered, we are in the process of creating a polar science-themed tour in collaboration with PolarTREC, that will align with the 7 Principles of Polar Literacy, which include the importance of the poles and the effects that climate change is having on these fragile environments. Patch Programs can be easily adapted, and we hope to inspire other organizations to reuse or develop this model to engage more students in STEM disciplines.