MONARCH — Most people don’t normally associate mines with schools but students at Monarch Elementary School recently got to experience mining when a “mine” on wheels visited their school.
The school was recently visited by “Diamond Del’s Gem Mining Bus” which, according to its website (www.diamondel.com) is “The Field Trip That Comes To You!” The website states that the program “is designed to create interest in the rock and mineral unit often taught in grade levels ranging through k-12th (depending on the school district). This shows students that science can be FUN!”
The Upstate Diamond Del’s Gem Mining Bus franchise is owned and operated by Joey Caldwell of Spartanburg who visits area schools during the school, bringing the bus and providing students with an educational and entertaining experience.
The website states that experience begins before Caldwell arrives with the bus, as each school receives a DVD for the students to watch prior to the visit. The DVD, which is 20 minutes long, introduces students to each rock and mineral. The schools also receive brochures for each participating student. Each brochure features a rock and mineral identification card. The students bring the brochures to school with them on the day of the bus’ visit. They are able to use those brochures when they are back in class to identify the stones they find while mining. There is also a follow-up DVD that teaches students how to classify and identify their collection.
As for the actual visit itself, the website states that during the 30-minute mining session, students are “guaranteed to find a fabulous gem collection featuring over 15 different gems and minerals around the world.”
That’s the program the students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades got to participate in when Caldwell brought Diamond Del’s Gem Mining Bus 5 to Monarch Elementary School earlier this month. According a press release issued by the school, the students “enjoyed mining for minerals and rocks” on the bus.