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Georgia College students hold Earth Science Experience

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October 30, 2012

What is a mineral?Senior environmental science major Loribeth Berry and third-grader Jackson Blount demonstrate how groundwater moves through various soils.Senior environmental science major Loribeth Berry and third-grader Jackson Blount demonstrate how groundwater moves through various soils.

How is it formed?

And why is it important to learn about?

Georgia College science students help local third-graders answer these questions in engaging ways during Earth Science Experience on campus this week.

“We hope to create a lasting connection with our youth so the information sticks throughout their education,” said Loribeth Berry, senior environmental science major. “We want them to understand how science applies to their lives every day.”

Third-graders of Blandy Hill Elementary School spend this week identifying different types of rocks, soils and fossils and exploring each of their uses through games, videos and art activities.

The young scientists learn about minerals like kaolin, which is used in paper, plastics and paint. Kaolin also is one of Georgia’s largest natural resources.

Earth Science Experience is part of Dr. Sam Mutiti’s historical and environmental geology courses. His students have spent the semester developing innovative lesson plans to help educate local elementary students about the fields of study.

“Earth Science Experience is about getting our youth interested in the field early,” said Mutiti, geology professor at Georgia College and expert in surface and groundwater interactions. “In Georgia, third grade is when K-12 students learn about rocks, minerals, weathering and soils. Not only are our local third-graders receiving hands-on experience about science, they are learning from our students who are passionate about science as well.”

Third-grader Jackson Blount of Creekside Elementary School enjoys learning about the various types of minerals.

“I like the mineral pyrite,” said Blount, 8. “I like the color of it because it looks like gold.”

Georgia College collaborates with area elementary school teachers throughout the academic year to apply students’ textbook lessons into real-world experiences.

Earth Science Experience will continue on campus with Creekside Elementary School third-graders Tuesday, Nov. 13, through Thursday, Nov. 15, as part of biology professor Dr. Christine Mutiti’s integrated science course.

“The program is a great opportunity to see what scientists do and discover how science works,” Sam Mutiti said. “It’s also a chance for our youth to see what we’re doing in science at Georgia College and to consider continuing their science education with us.”

For more information about the program, email or call 478-445-5858. 

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.