An article by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post entitled “Why fun is important in learning” asks a simple, yet thoughtful question;

“Why do we assume that learning only occurs when kids are serious and quiet?”

It’s a question that can be answered all over campus, but let’s just take a look at last week’s culminating activity in second grade science. For the past several weeks, the second graders at Powhatan School have been learning about geology inside and outside of the classroom. While studying rocks, we invited Tim Dixon, a rock and mineral expert from Shepherdstown, WV to bring his mobile mine to Powhatan.

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A quick glance at the expressions on the student’s faces during the experience gives our stance on the question above.

Mr. Tim explained where and how minerals are formed as well as how to identify minerals by using characteristics including Moh’s Scale of Hardness. After talking to the students about different kinds of rocks and the rock cycle, the students entered the mobile mine where each student sifted through a bucket of mining rough looking for different kinds of gems and fossils. Using what the students have learned, rock charts, and Mr. Tim, they were able to identify the treasures they found.