Educating 5th Graders about Geology Gains Awards

5th graders having fun on the Kickapoo tripOn April 9, the ISGS' Joan Crockett and Barb Stiff were awarded Certificates of Recognition from the Champaign Unit 4 School District for support of science education. They completed a field guide of the Kickapoo area, developed and conducted an exciting erosion demonstration on a point bar at Kickapoo, provided curriculum resources on the glacial geology in Illinois, and advised Unit 4 regarding development of a new 5th grade geology curriculum.

Joan and Barb had the able assistance of Dan Adomaitis, Curt Abert, Drew Phillips, and Dave Morse on the Kickapoo trip, and Dan and Curt contributed at Champaign curriculum planning meetings as well. The day in the field was covered by several ISGS sections contributing staff time to meet needs of a University of Illinois Public Engagement grant, that provided seed money to fund the effort. Curt supplied background curriculum materials for a rock and mineral identification activity, and Joan developed a guide for the activity. The activity subsequently has been modified and adopted for the Middle School geology program. Joan also prepared a guide to landforms, which also has been modified for use in the 5th grade curriculum.

Champaign Unit 4 plans to run field trips this fall for all thirty-six 5th grade classes. In addition, there have been requests from the University of Illinois Education Department to be included in the upcoming Fall trips. The field guide to Kickapoo has a much broader application, as it can be downloaded from the web, and may serve many school groups, youth organizations, families, and the people of Illinois for years to come.