Tulsa Students Take Science Lesson Outside The Classroom

Thursday, May 27th 2010, 3:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6  

TULSA, OK -- Science on the ground is much cooler than science in the classroom, especially when you can work in real fossils and chocolate chip cookies.

It's all part of an outreach program created by the Lafarge-Tulsa Cement Plant.

Lacy Craig is one of the Emerson Elementary fifth graders on a field trip to the Lafarge Tulsa Cement Plant. The kids are digging through the company's limestone quarry which, in pre-historic times, was covered with water.

Lafarge created the Oklahoma Rocks and Minerals program, among other things, to help students understand about natural resources that contribute to our state's economy.

Safety is important. All the junior miners wear hard hats and safety glasses while they are fossil hunting. They also learn about recycling and environmentally responsible mining.

"Taking care of the land is important, minimizing your footprint on the environment is important," said Jim Bachmann, Lafarge Tulsa Cement Plant.

It's not all about looking for fossils, there are classroom activities too. In one scenario, the students are mining for chocolate chips under the icing on a cookie; the object, to find the buried chips without doing too much damage to the rest of the cookie.

Lafarge has been conducting these sessions here for a couple of years. More than 1,300 students from schools around the area have learned more about cement, about manufacturing and about fossils.

When they finish the program they get a graduation picture.

Lafarge is hosting a Rock Block Party next Saturday, June 5th. You can search for fossils and get your picture taken with the big scoop loader too.  For more information on the block party, visit the Tulsa Cement Plant web site.