It’s not easy to get 11- and 12- year-old sixth graders excited about rocks. But that’s not the case in Mrs. Hart’s sixth grade. They’ve been studying the earth’s core, learning earth science models of plate tectonics and discovering the geologic records of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. And on Wednesday, September 25th, the class visited Ringing Rocks State Park in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.
"This isn’t your usual geology field trip," said Mrs. Hart. "Ringing Rocks is a very unique geologic site."
What makes Ringing Rocks so unique is that when the rocks are struck with a hammer, they sound as if they are metal and hollow and ring with a sound similar to a metal pipe being struck.
"Sure, we can go to the palisades in New Jersey or look at boulders left by glaciers in Manhattan or the Bronx, but this is so much more exciting," said Mrs. Hart.
Joining the class for this geologic field-trip was Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck, Waldorf’s Orchestra Director. After exploring and studying the features of the site, the student-geologists – with hammers in-hand – performed a few songs.
"It’s just like a choir of bells – except we were hitting rocks," remarked one sixth grader.
Before their geology block ends on Friday, September 27th, the students will hand-in their individual reports. Among the topics studied included Arches National Monument in Utah, the Geysers and Caldera of Yellowstone National Park and the Salt Flats of Death Valley National Park.
"I gave them a list of geologic wonders around the United States and they had to pick one and report on."
Even though the block ends on Friday, the geology lesson won’t end there. When the class visits Camp Glen Brook in October, they’ll stop by Howe Caverns in upstate New York on the way to New Hampshire.
Examples from a sixth grade student's Geology Main Lesson book.
Video of 6th graders singing and performing at Ringing Rocks.
Video courtesy of Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck.