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Kentucky Geological Survey Celebrates Earth Science Week With Kid-friendly Event

By Michael Lynch

Young visitors to the 2016 open house enjoy a virtual sandbox, provided by the UK Department of Mining Engineering.

Earth Science Week will be observed nationwide Oct. 8-14, and the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kentucky will again promote the appreciation of earth sciences with an open house.

Students, parents, teachers and others are invited to demonstrations and displays on a variety of natural science topics at the KGS open house. This year’s free public event is set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Mining and Mineral Resources Building, located at 504 Rose St. on the UK campus.

KGS scientists set up displays each year about their research and other groups, including students from the UK Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Kentucky Paleontological Society and the Bluegrass Gem and Mineral Club, also have exhibits.

The open house has drawn up to 250 people in the recent past to learn about subjects ranging from rocks and fossils to minerals and meteorites, geologic hazards, volcanoes and water resources.

KGS looks for new displays each year, and this year the “Quake Cottage” from the Indiana Geological Survey is scheduled to be on display. The cottage is a trailer that simulates the shaking experienced during earthquakes, ranging from 3.0 to 7.0 magnitude. A replica of a typical living room (with furnishings fastened down to protect occupants) is set up inside to demonstrate the effectiveness of measures to protect lives and prevent damage.

KGS urges teachers in public, private and home schools in Fayette and surrounding counties to let their students know about this annual educational event. Many teachers provide their students with scavenger-hunt lists, challenging them to find particular displays and learn from the scientists who staff them. KGS provides students with certificates of attendance, helping them earn academic credit for participating in the open house.

Parking Structure 2, next to the Mining and Mineral Resources Building, will be available for free public parking after 5 p.m. The structure is accessible from Hilltop Avenue on the UK campus.

More information about the national Earth Science Week can be found at The week has been promoted by the American Geosciences Institute and other organizations since 1998 to improve the public’s understanding of and appreciation for the earth sciences.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue