Professor Saylor Leads Middle School Field Trip
Western Academy 7th Grade Students Take 3-Day Geology Field Trip
Building on a classroom introduction given to Western Academy students in Fall 2013, Dr. Joel Saylor of UH’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences joined the same students, now in 7th grade, for a three-day geology-focused field trip to central Texas.
Twenty-one students, as well as three teachers, from Western Academy spent three days in November exploring the geology of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Inks Lake State Parks. Discussions focused on the plate tectonic setting of the Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks exposed in the parks, as well as the Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the western USA.
Students learned to identify minerals in the 1.1 Ga Town Mountain granite and used the relationship between the igneous dikes and sills and metamorphic textures exposed in Inks Lake State Park to construct the relative timing of metamorphic and igneous events.
Cold, clear nights also provided opportunities for astronomy lessons aided by several 20-inch telescopes and a 4-inch telescope.