Mayborn hosts Earth Science Week celebration

Volunteer Leo Brown shows visitors the difference between various rocks and minerals as a part of the Mayborn Museum's Earth Sciences Week on Tuesday afternoon. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Magdalayna Drivas | Reporter

Baylor’s department of geosciences is hosting a series of activities and events to celebrate Earth Science Week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily through October 13 at the Mayborn Museum.

Visitors are invited to engage with geoscience professors and students and participate in hands-on activities. Assistant professor and graduate program director Dr. Dan Peppe said this year’s Earth Science Week theme is “Earth and Human Activity.”

“We have different events every day,” Peppe said. “The activities are related to how humans have affected the earth, and also how earth’s processes affect us.”

Activities include rock and mineral identification, fossil examination and earthquake simulations. Peppe said the program is suitable for all ages.

“All of our activities that we have designed are scaleable, so they are designed to be interactive from adults down to kids,” Peppe said.

Peppe said the museum will host an “Ask-a-Paleontologist” session and have real fossils on display.

“Wednesday is National Fossil Day so we’ll have a bunch of different activities related to fossils,” Peppe said. “We’ll have a lot of different fossils and paleontologists, so you can come and ask any question you’ve ever wanted to know about paleontology.”

A symposium featuring geosciences professors from across the U.S. will discuss the past, present and future implications of climate change. Admission to the symposium is free for Baylor students, faculty and staff.

“On Thursday we have a whole day dedicated to climate change,” Peppe said. “We have two experts in climate science that will be coming and giving talks in the morning and in the afternoon we’ll have a panel discussion about climate change.”

Earth Science Week is part of an annual national program organized by the American Geosciences Institute. This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary and is the first year Earth Science Week is being celebrated at the Mayborn Museum.

“We have always done outreach activities related to Earth Science Week, but this is the first year that we’ve partnered with the Mayborn Museum,” Peppe said. “It’s been a cool collaborative process.”

Austin junior and Mayborn Museum staff member Eliana Rodriguez said the museum had a great turnout for the first day of Earth Science Week.

“It was a lot busier than usual today,” Rodriguez said. “There are a lot of fun and interactive events for both younger kids and college students. The Mayborn is always a ton of fun.”

Peppe said he hopes the event will help introduce children to earth science at an early age and help people be more aware of the world around them.

“A big reason why we’re trying to do this is to reach out to students, staff and faculty and also the general public and say, ‘Hey, this is what earth science is, this is why earth science is important, it actually does affect you on a daily basis whether you realize it or not,’” Peppe said.

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