Our Science Club held it’s September meeting at Niekamp Park after one of JCSHG's Park Days. The purpose of the meeting was to expose members to one of many careers in science and nature. Tony Schroer, a registered geologist, talked to the group about a career in geology.
Schroer began by discussing different careers in geology and the schooling needed for each one. He talked about the ones most associated with geology in our culture, such as a volcanologist and paleontologist. He the discussed other types of geologists, from a petroleum geologist to a hydrogeologist, and what they each do on a daily basis. The group had a spirited discussion about seismologists and tectonic plates in our state. They also talked about the formation of volcanoes and how earthquakes occur.
Schroer also gave an example of one of the things he does on a daily basis, water remediation. The kids helped him create a water experiment that showed the effects of a pollutant spill on the water table. He then discussed the ways to clean up a spill and how wells are used to monitor the water quality in areas that have been affected by pollutants. They did this by adding water to a clear tub layered with rock and sand with tubes (wells) running from the bottom of the tub to the top. Schroer then introduced the “pollutant,” a black colored dish detergent. The group witnessed how the pollutant spread through the water and got drawn into the drinking-water "wells." He then went on to describe water testing and clean up of affected areas. Some of the members then enjoyed using the “wells” to blow bubbles after the experiment.
Finally, Schroer answered questions and helped identify rocks brought in by members. This led to a great discussion on types of rocks and minerals found in Missouri and how to locate to find them.