News Release 316

Nearly 450 Rolla school children enjoy educational outings at Missouri Department of Natural Resources facility

Volume 38-316 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Hylan Beydler

ROLLA, MO, MAY 28, 2010 – The popular saying, “April showers bring May flowers” often rings true and plans made in April also brought inquisitive school children, in May, to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Rolla campus.  On the first two Tuesdays in May, nearly 450 Rolla school children learned about Missouri’s natural resources and how they can protect and enjoy them. 

On May 11, nearly 325 Rolla Middle School fifth-grade students attended the 11th annual Rolla School Daze event where not only did students enjoy beautiful weather, they learned about environmental protection, geology, land surveying, groundwater, illegal dumping and dam safety.

Staff shared their expertise with the students through the use of hands-on activities and mini-courses geared to reinforce and supplement classroom curriculum.

Rolla Middle School teacher Jeanie Strain said, "We always enjoy Rolla School Daze and we really appreciate the staff for sharing their expertise with the children.  The sessions are tied to our grade level expectations and the kids get to have real-life experiences to tie back to what we teach in the curriculum.  It is also a great way to get students thinking about various careers in science." 

Touring the Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology, the youngsters learned about Mozarkite and Galena (our state rock and mineral, respectively) and the mineral’s role as a primary lead ore.  The students were able to view and touch numerous other large rocks and minerals as well as fossils on display in the popular museum.

Students also peered through modern land surveying instruments, learned about surveying techniques that use global positioning system satellite technology and used surveying equipment used by 1800s-era surveyors.

Geologists spoke about the consequences of improperly drilled and maintained water wells and they detailed the importance of the proper disposal of hazardous household supplies so they do not threaten our water supplies.  A civil engineer fielded questions after showing a video about the serious ramifications of improperly constructed dams. 

Several short video clips showing people caught on hidden camera, in the act of illegal dumping captured the attention of the students who learned that people continue to be prosecuted for this ill-advised act.  A video describing the water cycle, groundwater regions of the state, the importance of clean water, and ways to prevent pollution of our groundwater resources rounded out the experience.

The following Tuesday morning, 110 second grade students from Rolla’s Mark Twain Elementary School convened at DNR to participate in a similar field trip.  The students toured the museum, learned about environmental geology, illegal dumping and had an opportunity to discover more about geology, land surveying, state parks and wealth of natural resources, with the aid of educational trading cards.  Jeanne Goggins, Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher said, “We are so appreciative of the opportunity to come to DNR.  The lessons and experiences are invaluable.”

The Division of Geology and Land Survey welcomes visitors to the Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology where you will also find maps for sale along with educational trading cards, and a wide variety of publications on topics such as rocks, minerals and fossils.  The museum is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  Admission is free.  Visit online at