Dig into geology and discover the Earth at your feet! Enjoy hands-on activities and watch demonstrations of volcanic eruptions. Explore the Museum and check out displays and activities on geology, fossils, gems, minerals and much more from Florida and around the world!Save the date on Facebook
Example activities from 2018 below. Updated 2019 activities coming soon!
Most demonstrations and activities occur from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. unless noted as scheduled.
- Augmented Reality Sandbox: Understanding topographic maps – This sandbox combines real sand with virtual reality to show how 2-D topographic maps show the 3-D shape of the land. Make your own surface in the sandbox and watch as the virtual reality projection mirrors your model. Then, make it rain in the sandbox and see how virtual water flows in your model.
- Deep Ocean Drilling – Discover how scientists study the bottom of the ocean and sample your own “drill core” from our tasty ocean floor model.
- Fossil Dig – Sift for fossils alongside Florida Museum paleontologists.
- Fossil Screen Wash – Sift sand for microfossils using screens and water.
- Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society: Experience Rocks and Minerals – Explore rocks and minerals through touch, experiments and games.
- Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society: Hobbies that Rock – Find out how hobbies such as rockhounding and lapidary (engraving, cutting or polishing gems) can be fun for the whole family.
- Geologic Time Tunnel – Explore the “Tunnel of Time.” Take a journey back through time and explore our planet’s geologic history.
- Groundwater: Florida’s Precious Natural Resource – Investigate how groundwater flows through and shapes the subsurface while discovering Florida’s underground rivers. Explore what you can do to protect our drinking water supply.
- Hands on Gainesville: Minerals in Your Home – What minerals are in your home? What do they look like before you make them into walls, appliances and wires? How can you turn the earth around Florida into a necklace? Explore minerals and how we use them in our everyday lives.
- Investigating Ocean Acidification – The Earth is a big interconnected system. Discover how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can threaten the ocean’s coral reefs.
- Make Your Own Earthquake – Learn about how, why and where earthquakes happen, and then make your own earthquake to find out how you measure on the Richter scale.
- Oil Spill and Cleanup – Investigate how chemistry is used to clean up these environmental catastrophes.
- Paleobiology and Fossils – See fossils of amazing prehistoric life forms and explore Florida’s fossil heritage.
- Paleomagnetism – Rocks contain their own compasses, and they don’t always point north. See how scientists use Earth’s magnetism to reconstruct how the continents have moved through time.
- Passport Prizes – Grab a passport and collect stamps as you explore ‑‑ then receive a prize for your completed passport.
- The Power of Water: How the Land Gets its Shape – Use wave tanks and other interactive models to explore water’s power in shaping our ever-changing environment.
- The Rock Cycle – Discover how rocks are continuously recycled on Earth into new rocks and learn about the different environments in which they form.
- Secrets of Sand – Take an up-close look under a microscope to see the secrets of sand revealed.
- Tools of a Geologist – Learn why geologists are the real “Inspector Gadgets” and bring your minerals and rocks to be identified.
- UF Department of Geological Sciences – Learn about the UF geological sciences department, how to become a geologist and why geoscience is an excellent career choice.
- Volcanoes (periodic eruptions scheduled on the hour and half-hour starting at 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.) – Participate in ongoing interactive demonstrations and investigate why some volcanoes erupt explosively while others often do not, but watch out – ours is ready to blow.
Details coming soon!
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Gainesville, FL 32611 Get Driving Directions
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