This week I gave my I’m a geologist lesson. I was very nervous going into it, wondering how the students were going to react to me. But overall, every class went exceptionally well. I started off by asking them to draw what they think a geologist studies, and the majority of them all drew a rock or the earth. I had a couple that drew dinosaurs though, which was nice to see some variety. I then went over some of the major disciplines of geology and then they got to be geologists themselves! Each table had different rocks and fossils, and as a group they had to make as many observations as they could about them and then try to figure out what environment they came from. Most of the students picked up very quickly with the volcanic rocks and the ocean rocks, the river rocks proved to be the most difficult. After we went over that, I tied in why this is an important part of geology and how geophysics helps. They really liked the X-Ray metaphor and are eager to see some real geophysical pictures.
I noticed that the guys were much more fascinated and intrigued by the rocks and minerals than the girls. That was nice to see because they tend to be more of the troublemakers in all of the classes. At the end of 6th period, we were walking the students to the lunchroom and one guy came to the back of the line away from everyone and in really hushed tones:
“Hey, you gonna be here tomorrow?”
Me: “No, but I will be here next Friday!”
Him: “Okay, I want to show you my rock collection”
I thought this was AWESOME to hear, but I was also disappointed to see that he had to pull away and whisper this to me so his friends wouldn’t hear him. These students are so afraid of being ridiculed by their peers for having an interest in learning something new. We need to help push them over that barrier.