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Event to Celebrate Earth Sciences Oct. 15 at UW

October 7, 2016
children playing in sand table with colored projection overlay
Interactive tables and activities will be part of “Earth Science Day” Saturday, Oct. 15, at the UW Geological Museum. The museum and the Wyoming State Geological Survey will host the free event from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (UW Geological Museum Photo)

To celebrate earth sciences, the University of Wyoming Geological Museum and the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) will host “Earth Science Day” Saturday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the museum. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is part of Earth Science Week (Oct. 9-15), a national and international celebration that has been held by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and other organizations since 1998. In 2012, Gov. Matt Mead proclaimed the second week in October as Wyoming Earth Science Week.

“From the dynamic and awe-inspiring landscapes we enjoy to the bountiful resources that have enriched our lives, earth science touches every person in Wyoming on a daily basis,” says Tom Drean, WSGS director. “We hope that ‘Earth Science Day’ will provide a fun learning experience for folks from ages 5 to 95.”

Attendees at “Earth Science Day” can take a fossil preparation lab tour or participate in a children’s scavenger hunt with a prize drawing. There will be several interactive tables and activities, all connected to earth sciences. Activities include a paleobotany station and a station where kids can make their own Wyoming invertebrate fossil identification kits.

The WSGS will have several rocks found in Wyoming to test attendees’ geology knowledge and a microscope available to view thin sections of minerals. Other activities involve using cupcakes to learn how core samples allow geologists to find what rock layers are beneath the Earth’s surface and having a geologist point out interesting spots in Wyoming on Google Earth.

As part of “Earth Science Day,” the Harry C. Vaughan UW Planetarium will have a special showing during the event.

“Geology is an incredible gateway for inspiring kids to learn about science in general. First, we draw kids in with rocks and fossils and, then, without them realizing it, they are learning about optical and chemical properties of minerals under a microscope; and they like it and want to learn more,” says Laura Vietti, UW Geological Museum and collections manager. “We hope that the ‘Earth Science Day’ event will act as a gateway while providing the opportunity to learn more about Wyoming’s amazing rocks and fossils from the experts who study them.”

This year’s Earth Science Week theme is “Our Shared Geoheritage.” The AGI defines geoheritage as locations that are valued for scientific, economic, ecological, educational, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and recreational purposes. Earth Science Week coincides with National Fossil Day Oct. 12 and Geologic Map Day Oct. 14. 

For more information about “Earth Science Day,” visit or; or email event organizers Vietti at or Christina George at

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