Amethyst Geode – Collected from Uruguay

The South American country of Uruguay is notable for its rich, high-quality gemstones sought after by collectors worldwide. Many geological mines there still operate, producing some of the finest examples of amethyst in the world. Amethyst is a semi-precious gemstone which occurs in geodes, like this one, formed by volcanic eruptions. The largest amethyst geode… Continue reading

Winter Wonders Brings SciFest Back to the Science Center

Support science for our future. Make a gift to the Science Center’s Annual Fund today to help power connections to STEAM through efforts like these. On December 5, 2020, after an extended absence because of COVID-19, a special themed day titled Winter Wonders brought the spirit of SciFest back to the Science Center. Ruth Watt,… Continue reading

Wulfenite – Collected from Sonora, Mexico

Wulfenite is a mineral which often forms stubby, pyramidal, or thin tabular crystals of a bright orange-red to yellow-orange color. It is a unique mineral, easily distinguished from almost all other minerals thanks to its vivid crystal coloring and the localities where it is found. The vibrancy of its color makes wulfenite a highly sought… Continue reading

Collections – Azurite mineral specimen

The distinctive blue color of azurite makes it a popular mineral among collectors. People throughout history have used azurite for beads or jewelry, cut them into ornamental objects, or ground them for use as pigment in blue paint. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use azurite for pigment, but azurite was commonly used by… Continue reading

Self-Watering Garden

In this at-home activity, learn to utilize the forces of capillary action to make a planter at home that will water itself. Plants use capillary action to draw water from the ground up into their roots and stems in order to survive. Capillary action is able to work against gravity because the forces that keep… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 7

Unbury Your Underwear What did the soil do to your underwear? ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION At this point, you have learned quite a bit about soil. The arthropods you exposed, the seeds you germinated, the song you sang, and the art you made all relate to the characters in your soil’s story. Healthy soil supports a diversity… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 6

Paint with Soils Use the diverse colors and textures of soil to make art. ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION Did you know that you can paint with soils? Many cultures have used soils as pigments for pottery, textiles and storytelling. Next time you see a road-cut, an exposed bluff, or even when you unbury your underwear during Activity… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 5

Soapy-Water Flush Bring the insects in your lawn to the surface. ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION Scientists who study insects sometimes use a “soapy-water flush” to bring insects to the surface. The soap irritates the insects’ exoskeletons, forcing them to crawl up from their homes to the tips of grass blades. With this activity, you can play with… Continue reading