SIPERG visits local school for lesson on sand!


Three members of SIPERG traveled to a local preschool classroom for show and tell! Students in Mrs. Wellington’s class at United Community School (near Ames, IA) have been learning about sand over the past few weeks. Graduate students Nina, Diana, and Maddie (all members of SIPERG), put together a few activities to show the students many different kinds of sands, sandstones, and source rocks. The class definitely contained a few budding scientists and sedimentologists!

Activity 1: Looking at sand “up close.” We printed a poster of enlarged sand photomicrographs and compared them to the actual samples. Compare and contrast different types of sand.

Activity 2: Sorting by grain size. We had siltstone, a few sandstones, and a few conglomerates to show many types of “sand-like” rocks with an emphasis on observing and understanding grain size.

Activity 3: Matching sand with source. We had many different sands to look at (black sand, shell sand, quartz sand, k-spar sand, gravel, etc) along with many different potential source rocks and mineral hand samples (basalt, shells, quartz, granite, etc).

These activities will go into a collection being compiled by the Geology Graduate Student Organization (GGSO) at Iowa State University. If you know a group of students interested in having GGSO visit their school or interested in visiting campus, please contact Suzanne Ankerstjerne (GGSO faculty rep) or any current graduate student at Iowa State University.

(photos courtesy of Karin Wellington and Nina Whitney)