Neighbors

Sun City rock hounds share enthusiasm

Elementary school students learn about minerals

Posted 5/23/21

The Sun City Rock Hound Club participate May 7 in the Country Meadows Elementary School, 8409 N. 111th Ave., Peoria Family Fun Night event.

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Neighbors

Sun City rock hounds share enthusiasm

Elementary school students learn about minerals

Posted

The Sun City Rock Hound Club participate May 7 in the Country Meadows Elementary School, 8409 N. 111th Ave., Peoria Family Fun Night event.

The Sun City Rock Hound Club brings rocks, gems, fossils and minerals to the school’s events for the past three years, except during 2020 due to COVID-19. Mineral samples are displayed on tables for children to view and even have hands on experience. The children are always fascinated by the display and ask a lot of questions. The club had on hand a team of experts for those inquiring minds — Tom Fish, club vice president and a retired middle school science teacher from Minnesota, and “Belt-Buckle Bill” Allison, a remarkable rock-hound who earned that nickname from making stone belt buckles at one of the Sun City lapidary clubs

One of the items on display was an Ammonite brought by Mr. Fish. The children were captivated by the specimen and the most common question asked was, “What is it?” It is a fossilized shell from an extinct squid-like animal that lived 66 million years ago on the bottom of the ocean that covered Arizona, Mr. Fish explained.

He took Pyrite, Desert Rose, Quartz, Rhyolite and samples of ‘Apache Tears’ and Petrified Wood, which he gave to each and every inquisitive child.

Mr. Allison took specimens of Azurite, Malachite, Chrysocolla, Jasper and Agate, to name a few. But the children seemed to enjoy his gold nugget the most.

Besides the rock hounds there were many more exhibits at the event. Cactus High School, 6330 W. Greenway Road, Glendale students brought an operating robot display. Phoenix Herpetological Society brought reptiles. A tarantula and a scorpion were also displayed. The Arizona Science Museum, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix; Peoria Library, 8463 W. Monroe St., Peoria; Wildlife World Zoo, 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park; and Arizona Farm Bureau, 325 S. Higley Road, Gilbert all had exhibits at the school. The children lined up at each display to see and learn.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Blachut and Ms. Bankert are Sun City Rock Hound Club members.

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