Sunday, July 12, 2009

Out of context

Callan talks about desk crop-samples. Here are two examples of "parking-lot-crop-samples".

How many times has someone come up to you as a geologist and asked you to identify a rock sample? How many times has the sample in question come from a nearby parking lot? This happens to K-12 teachers all of the time.

Many K-12 teachers are not geoscientists and I tell them that context will help them in trying to identifying the rock sample. They must ask the kids about the location that the rock came from. It helps the kids in creating the description of the
their rock sample as well as giving you an idea of what the name is .

I was particularly interested in how the crystalline sample was found next to the conglomerate sample. It is obvious that the they did not originate in the same place but both had been transported to this location. This can lead to a great discussion about how rocks can be moved: water, wind, truck.

Over the years, these parking lot samples have kept me on my toes, especially that one GEO 101 lab where the TA gave me some aged concrete to identify. I quickly learned that lesson.

1 comment:

BrianR said...

sometimes these kinds of samples are the most difficult!