Students Sparkle at Local Mineral Show


[Melissa Luna (left photo) and Jessica Johnson (right photo) share the polarizing microscope with the general public]

[Editor’s note: On Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6, several students and faculty from the CCSU GSCI department shared their time and expertise with the general public at the Meriden Jewelry, Gem, and Mineral Show at Maloney High School. Melissa and Jessica share their thoughts about this experience below.]

Dr. Evans, myself, and several other students reached out to the community and shared our knowledge of what is inside of a rock through hands-on demonstrations that allowed one to make observations of both hand samples and thin sections under a microscope. Since this was my first time attending a mineral show, I had no expectations the type of experience I was going to have. Throughout the day, I met several individuals who had backgrounds ranging from NASA engineers to young, aspiring prospectors. At the end of the day, I found this to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had to date. As a child, I was not fortunate enough to understand and appreciate geology in the same way that some of the kids who I met had. However, by sharing our passion with these young minds, I felt that we as a department made a difference by allowing others to open their minds to what geology has to offer.
Melissa Luna

Working with the public is an incredibly rewarding experience, as was the case this weekend. On Sunday I got to volunteer at the booth for CCSU allowing people to experience the incredible phenomena of looking at a thin section of rock under a microscope. It is something that unless you are in the Geology major you typically wouldn’t experience. We showcased a personal favorite of mine, a Garnet Mica Schist, which under thin section exhibits eye catching neon birefringence. The best part about it was having people of all ages become completely mesmerized by it. I had one boy in particular who said he wanted to look at it all day long; he dragged his mom back to the booth at least five times to look at the thin section again. I met so many diverse people from all different backgrounds with the common interest of a love for minerals and geology in general. It was such rewarding experience that I cannot wait to do it again!
– Jessica Johnson


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