generally meets the third Wednesday of each month, August through May.
We now meet in Penn State's Earth and Engineering Sciences Building, on White Course Drive off North Atherton Street.
See driving directions and campus maps.
All are welcome to attend our meetings!
Parents must provide supervision of minors.
Mineral collectors and rockhounds, earth scientists and dinosaur lovers will all enjoy our activities.
Next regular meeting planned for August 21, 2103
Parents must provide supervision of minors.
June 1 at Spring Creek Day
by Bob Altamura
The Nittany Mineralogical Society has been participating at the Clearwater Conservancy's Spring Creek Family Festival by offering educational booths from 2008-2013 on a variety of topics including Minerals & Rocks; Gemstone Carving; Mineral Hardness & Lapidary, Natural Glass, and Earthquakes. This year NMS members Bob Altamura and Gareth Mitchell will be joined by Paul Fagley, Cultural Educator at Greenwood Furnance State Park, to present an educational exhibit on "Iron Ore Minerals and Iron & Steel Making" at what will be the 30th Annual Spring Creek Family Festival. The Festival will be held at the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, 548 Puddintown Road on the east side of State College, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In past years approximately 500 people have attended the festival.
The educational theme of this year's NMS exhibit will include discussion of iron ore minerals and rocks, including a processed iron ore called taconite. Taconite is made from a lower grade iron ore that is partially concentrated to make a taconite pellet that is suitable raw material for iron mills to process. Taconite is mined in the Lake Superior iron district and was name for the rock's similar appearance to rocks in the Taconic Mountains of New York State. Samples of a wide variety of iron ores such hematite, limonite, goethite, siderite, pyrite, magnetite, and franklinite will be displayed. Have you ever seen stalactitic iron ore? We'll have specimens to show.
The basic operations of historical and modern iron and steel making will be discussed. Photographs of historical blast furnaces from both Pennsylvania and Connecticut will be on exhibit along with explanatory diagrams illustrating the operations. The manufacture and compositions of cast iron, wrought iron, and steel will also be described. A cast iron ingot ("pig") on loan from Greenwood Furnace State Park will be part of the exhibit along with samples of wrought iron and steel.
Specimens of iron ore minerals from Scotia (limonite and goethite) and Greenwood Furnace (hematite) will be offered as souvenirs.
Information about the Festival and about ClearWater Conservancy can be found at http://www.clearwaterconservancy.org/events.htm. There is no admission fee to attend the Festival. Events will include: live music; talks; fun educational activities including demonstrations and boardwalk tours of the nature area; exhibits; and food. If you attend, please stop by the NMS booth to say hi, hear what we have to share and chat.
News (January 2012):
Pennsylvania's State Mineral
"I am a 6th grade student at Commonwealth Connections Academy. I did a science paper on what would I like to have as a state rock/mineral, and I was excited to find that there was none already listed. So, I am on a journey to get Celestine named as the Pennsylvania State Mineral. I am working with Representative Stephen Bloom to start a resolution, and he has explained the steps involved. I am currently in the 'lobbying' step. I am drumming up state wide support of my intent to have Celestine become the state mineral. On the link below, is my facebook page, and clicking on 'like' is a vote in favor of my quest!! Also on my page, is a link to my science paper that I wrote for this assignment.
Would you be interested in helping me? Would you pass the message on...?
NMS Editor's Note: Although the facebook page says "state rock," they are indeed working toward having it designated the state mineral. Royce feels that the vote may happen soon.
For more current news, see our NMS Bulletin (link at top of sidebar at left).
DRIVING DIRECTIONS and PARKING for Earth & Engineering Sciences Building meetings: After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, free parking is available immediately across the street from the building. From North Atherton St. (Business Rt. 322) between College Avenue and Park Avenue, turn west (toward the golf course) off North Atherton at the traffic signal marked "White Course Drive." Go past the parking attendant's booth, follow the curve to the left, then turn right into the parking lot. The building entrance is a little beyond the center of the lot, at the two round concrete planters. Enter the building, then go all the way across the lobby for our social hour & meeting room. We have a simple map at http://www.nittanymineral.org/EESBmap.jpg. For official campus maps see http://www.campusmaps.psu.edu/ .
NMS now has T-shirts in two new colors.
A station at our Minerals Junior Education Day
CELESTINE is once again under active consideration for Pennsylvania State Mineral
Collecting crystals in a quarry
We have 2012 (and other) posters for sale!