Geological Sciences Outreach


Fossil Dig Activity

  • Outreach bookings for the 2019-2020 year are now finished. We received an overwhelming number of bookings this year and can only run so many sessions without overworking our studious volunteers! Thank you and check back again in Sept 2020 for next year's bookings!
  • For inquiries about Geology outreach for elementary, middle and high school students please contact Courtney Onstad ( for details.
  • For inquiries about Geology outreach for the general public please contact for more information.

Courtney Onstad 

Geology Outreach Coordinator 
Geology 136

Drake the Geologist
Take a tour of the Geology building with Drake the Geologist!

The Department of Geological Sciences is dedicated to undertaking outreach activities and providing presentations tailored to elementary, middle and high school students.   

We have PowerPoint presentations (with videos) and hands-on activities available (listed below). We are actively developing new activities and presentations and are open to any suggestions about topics that may not be included below. Each presentation (including hands-on activity) lasts about 30 - 60 minutes. With this in mind, we typically present two to three presentations at each outreach event for a 2-hr session.

At this moment, two options exist for your Geology outreach experience.

  1. A few volunteers (undergraduates and graduates) from the Department of Geological Sciences will travel to your school and give the presentation (with limited supplies).
  2. Elementary, middle, high school students can come to our department where we have many microscopes and hand samples available. 

Geology Outreach with kids Geology Outreach with kids Geology Outreach with kids

Currently available lessons follow with more lessons coming soon. 

Rocks & Minerals: Discusses various properties that can be used to identify minerals in hand sample and in thin sections. Introduces the three rock types and the rock cycle
(hands on: observe minerals and rocks in hand sample and in thin section using a microscope) 

Fossils: Become a paleontologist for the day and discover the basic ways to identify various fossils
(hands on: analyze pristine fossils and students have the opportunity to make their own)

Volcanoes: Describes the various types of eruptions and volcanoes
(hands on: volcano eruption experiments) 

Plate Tectonics: Introduces the Continental Drift Theory, evidence of the formation of Pangea
(hands on: paper cut-out plate reconstruction) 

Meteorite Impact: Discusses meteorites and meteorite impacts (hands on: look at hand samples of famous meteorites and do an experiment of a meteorite impact)


Note: Any of these presentations can be tailored for any particular grade