Lectures, demonstrations and activities are offered to schools and community groups. Themes available include:
The content of lectures, demonstrations and activities can be altered and tailored depending on the needs of specific groups.
Specifically requested topics may be negotiated according to your topic and curriculum needs.
Professional Development Workshops
Workshops are available on any of the lecture and workshop topics. Other professional development workshops include:
Other workshop topics may be arranged upon request.
Find the answers to these questions and more with our Crystals workshop.
What mineral is that? (How many times have you been asked that question by your students?)
Not a simple question to answer. This practical workshop takes students through a set of simple observations and the use of classification tables to enable junior mineralogists to identify and name most new mineral samples - a useful set of skills for rock hounds starting their own collection.
Museums and university have fabulous collections of fossils, but visitors cannot touch them because they are rare, fragile and very valuable.
Many budding junior palaeontologists in your classroom will be unearthed if you ask for this hands on workshop to be brought to your school.
Gravity, along with other geophysical methods is used as a method of finding large mineral ore deposits hidden from sight beneath the earth's surface.
Using a pendulum, students can measure the acceleration caused by gravity, learn about factors which can affect its value and learn how to make compensations for these factors.
Is the Earth a gigantic blob of rock that sits in space and does nothing?
The Earth is literally bursting with energy from within.
For millions of years it has been making heat energy which has driven the pushing and pulling of the thin brittle crust that we now live on and suffer the age long shake, rattle and roll of earthquakes!
Are earthquakes and volcanoes related? Well, yes and no.
Earthquakes usually precede volcanic eruptions as magma rumbles its way through underground vents, pumping up the volcano, causing it to swell, and finally erupt.
Earth crustal movements (driven by the earth’s 'heat engine') cause the brittle crust to break apart sending earthquake shock waves out, making the earth ring like a bell.
These fractured crustal rocks, we call faults, can sometimes provide a passageway for magma to make its way to the surface and start up a brand new Volcano. However much of the time the faults just remain areas of movement.
So you think there are no volcanoes in South Australia - think again!
They may not have been active in recent times but local Aboriginal mythology tells of explosions, fire and lightning coming out of the belly of Mount Schank and several other volcanoes around Mt Gambier.
Junior volcanologists will:
You probably know that roads, concrete and cars are made from minerals ... but did you know that some medicines, cosmetics, jewellery and energy forms are made from minerals?
This topic showcases a variety of earth materials, considering:
Underground, open pit or leaching? These are ways of getting minerals of use to people out of the ground.
But how do the miners decide which is the best way, and can they change their mined later on?
Mining engineers plan, make and manage mines. They look at the results of drilling and computer modelling to discover the shape and position of ore bodies and then use this to decide whether open pit, underground shafts and tunnels or leaching is the easiest and safest way to get the minerals to the surface.
This presentation will:
Old time prospectors would search for that elusive 'pot of gold at the end of the rainbow' by listening to rumours and buying treasure maps, only to find that they were phoney!
Nowadays, modern scientific methods are used to find hints of buried mineral deposits. This presentation is an easy to follow demonstration of these modern methods using:
South Australia's early colonial economy was largely dependant on pastoralists, farming and the mining of copper and gold. The latter attracted people of diverse ethnicity, who were to fashion our heritage and recent history.
These included hard working immigrants from Cornwall who were experts in underground mining methods, Argentine teamsters adept at working mule and bullock teams to haul the valuable ore minerals on the overland copper trails to port and many Chinese and Americans.
These were exciting and often hard times for the new settlers to eke out a living. The heritage of this mining past has left us with towns such as Kapunda, Wallaroo, Kadina, Burra and Blinman to name just a few.
The education officer can show and tell you more about this fascinating period of history.
Was 'Gold Fever' a real health problem the old time prospectors really suffered from or was it just a saying about the miners' hopes of striking it rich one day?
Junior prosectors will:
All materials including gold pans and special 'gold' bearing river sediments will be provided, the school need only make available water and an outside area.
This presentation gives an overview of the 'Mining Act', the Government's set of rules and regulations written to guide miners on what they can and can not do when searching for or mining minerals.
Who can mine what from where, and when and how are they allowed to do this?
What happens to the plants and animals, soil and water in the mean time not to mention the people that own and live off that land now?
Find out the answers to these questions with this presentation.
The answers to these questions and many more can be easily found by simple demonstrations and experiments brought to your classroom.
Students will be able to learn about:
This interactive session studies the important compenents that form the framework in which the petroleum industry works:
Interactive computer software and paper based problems are used to challenge students' problem solving skills. Senior students may wish to test their skills with the Kepler Case Study (for more information see the Teaching Resources section).
The geosciences will give you insights into the secrets of rocks, fossils and crystals, and unravel the mysteries of why the earth has ice ages and volcanic eruptions. Most of all it will help you read the record in the earth's rocks just like a book, minus words.