Geology Rocks!

With the unofficial end of summer drawing closer, we decided to take a little road trip with a specific purpose. Geology! My budding scientist has been very interested in geology this summer. So, we headed to cave country in the Missouri Ozarks.

We've spent a lot of time visiting the unique geographical features of the Ozark Plateau. From one of the world's largest natural springs to granite boulders that are over a billion years old, there is so much to explore! This trip was the perfect opportunity to nurture geological interests and apply what we learned about Gold Rush technology. So, we packed our handy-dandy field guide and headed to Cave Springs Park.

This was our second tour of this cave. As cave tours go, this one is actually very short, which is perfect for elementary-aged learners. During the tour, we spotted two types of salamanders and a frog! Cave Springs Park never disappoints when it comes to a variety of animals to see... and not just in the cave. They have a small museum where they house animals from the diverse ecosystem of the surrounding land. This trip, we saw a variety of baby and juvenile snakes and frogs and the cutest little prairie dogs you've ever seen! (The last time we visited, we got to hold a baby raccoon.)

While all of these aspects of the park are really fun and provide a multitude of learning opportunities, we were there for rocks to apply recent geology lessons to real life. So, we purchased a bag of dirt and turned the junior geologist loose on the long tom. Later, we all participated in a quarry dig for fossils and gems. And while many of our finds were not native to the location, it was a really great science activity. We plan to make a chart of our finds, similar to the one in the photos that follow.

I was sure to inquire about group educational field trips. In an effort to support science education, the owner, Danny,  offers an amazing discount for educational groups. He even mentioned that he has groups from as far as Jackson, TN drive up for the day. So, Memphis should be no problem. Thanks Danny! We'll be back with a group. However, I think we might have to make it an overnight-er! There's just so much geology learning to do in the Ozark Plateau region.

From Sea to Shining Sea: Missouri                                                      Great State Graphic Organizer

Our next project: Great State Research. We've got a head start on Missouri!

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