THOMASTON — This fall, students at Thomaston Grammar School and their science teacher, Lynn Snow, have been studying geology. The unit has included learning about the rock cycle, the geological time scale, and identifying rocks and minerals. The Pangaea theory has also been explored.

Amber Whittaker, a bedrock geologist from the Maine Geological Survey came to class to tell kids about her job as a bedrock mapmaker. She also taught the group how to polish rocks.

Kathy Bridge, an avid rock collector and Snow’s sister-in-law, brought a sampling of her incredible rock and mineral collection to school. Bridge started each student with their own rock and mineral collection in recycled egg cartons.

On Sept. 28, 42 students and seven adults went on a local geology-themed field trip. The trip included stops at Mt. Battie in Camden, the Rockland Breakwater, and the Dragon Cement quarry in Thomaston. Maine State Geologist Henry Berry IV joined the group to help teach the students about the geological features in our area. Mike Martunas, environmental manager at Dragon Cement, accompanied the group into the quarry and explained how limestone is mined for making cement.

Snow and her students will continue learning about earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, and other geology-connected topics throughout the fall. They plan to build a “rock garden” in the space between their already successful school garden and orchard that will add to the outdoor learning areas at Thomaston Grammar School. They are looking for donations of large specimens of Maine rock and/or minerals to display in this new space. Thomaston Federated Church has donated a piece of granite that will be used at the entrance to the future garden. Thomaston Public Works is helping with the project.

The Georges River Education Foundation has provided financial support for Snow to organize this unit of study for her students. The grant has allowed for the purchase of books, posters, geology supplies, rock tumbling equipment, rock and mineral sample sets, and more. The field trip was also covered by the grant monies.