On November 21, the GEODES club opened up their collection of one-of-a-kind minerals to the rest of the KSC students. An assortment of rare gems was on display in the Young Student Center atrium from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
“We usually just do it for ourselves, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to open it up to everyone else,” Keene State College student and GEODES club member, Stephanie Kangas, said while setting up a display of rocks, gems and fossils.
“I get a lot of people coming up to me asking, ‘What rock is this?’ So I figure we might as well give everyone a chance to come and get some answers,” she said.
Club members set up rocks, minerals and gems varying in size and shape. Calcite prisms and fluorite octahedrons were just a couple among the hundreds that were displayed.
Club members did not only want to show off their collection, but enlighten students on how much of an impact geology has on day-to-day life.
“With the way society is advancing, there is a larger disconnect with nature than ever,” Kangas said.
Another GEODES member, senior Lorne Currier, stressed just how much geology is a part of every day life.
Currier said, “It’s critical to resource develop in everything that we do, such as running the lights or driving to school.”
The newest addition to the collection were recently acquired minerals from Sterling Hill, New Jersey.
The mapping project the club took part in at the fluorescent mineral capital of the world allowed members an opportunity to make some impressive additions to each of their collections.
Kangas held a light over a large dark rock, allowing the UV rays to exhibit an array of colors.
The trip to New Jersey is not the only trip the group has recently made. They often frequent other schools in order to further their understanding of geology.
Currier discussed their upcoming trip to UMass Amherst to listen in on a lecture series on ocean dynamics and climate change.
“Every Friday we try to make a trip down there to hear from speakers all over the world. Two weeks ago, we heard from a speaker about the geomorphology of Mars,” Currier said. A majority of the club’s collection was accumulated by members themselves on site during trips the students took, such as their trip to Arizona.
There, GEODES members were able to collect minerals and rocks from a mine site.
Not only was their extensive collection on display, but club members put some of the minerals up for sale.
Holiday-themed ornaments were among the items available for purchase.
Fluorite octahedrons wrapped in copper wire were placed in small gift boxes among the rest of the minerals.
“It’s unique gifts like these that I want to be able to give my family for the holidays,” student Alexandra Oliveri said after seeing the display of minerals up for sale.
The event also allowed for students to create their own jewelry.
Supplies were readily available so that event attendees could create their own bracelets, earrings and key-chains.
“I give a lot of my family members beautiful rocks for Christmas, whether they like it or not,” Kangas said, laughing.
The event that the GEODES club put on numerous times has allowed students from outside the club to get a closer look into the world and study of geology.
Kaitlyn Kelly can be contacted at Kaitlyn.Kelly@ksc.keene.edu