Editors: A complete list of activities follows this release

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors will have their world rocked with volcanic eruptions and geological discoveries at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s eighth annual “Can You Dig It?” event on Saturday, March 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This free, family-friendly event provides hands-on activities and demonstrations to educate visitors about the many aspects of geology and the Earth.

“At ‘Can You Dig It?’ we try to create things of interest for people of all ages and backgrounds,” said event coordinator Matt Smith, a seniorlecturer and undergraduate advisor in the University of Florida department of geological sciences “Geology is something that’s all round you so we want to help participants make connections between what we do as scientists and their daily lives.”

Florida Museum educator Amanda Harvey said visitors will be able to engage in activities such as mining for rocks and minerals, creating their own earthquake, drilling through a tasty ocean floor and more.

“This event is a fun opportunity to see the different sides of geology by participating in activities like the tunnel of geologic time, watching volcanoes erupt, using Oreos to explore plate tectonics and more,” Harvey said. “Visitors will really enjoy meeting UF geological sciences faculty and other local geologists and learning from their expertise.”

Other activities include investigating how water flowing on the surface and underground shapes Florida and discovering how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can threaten coral reefs in the ocean. Participants may also create real-time 3-D maps of landscapes made in an augmented-reality sandbox that uses a computer and 3-D camera.

“Can You Dig It?” is sponsored by the UF department of geological sciences and the Florida Museum in collaboration with the Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society and other community groups.

Food from High Springs Orchard and Bakery will be available for purchase. For more information, visit http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/calendar/grid/can-you-dig-it/ or call 352-273-2062.


Writer: Francis Diaz, fdiaz@flmnh.ufl.edu
Source: Amanda Harvey, aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu

Can You Dig It? Activities List
10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 15
Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Road, Powell Hall on the UF campus

 Volcanoes (Periodic eruptions scheduled on the hour and half-hour starting at 10:30a.m.)

Participate in ongoing interactive demos and investigate why some volcanoes erupt explosively while others often do not, but watch out – ours is ready to blow!

Gem and Fossil Mine
Sift for gems, minerals and other treasures.

UF Department of Geological Sciences
Learn about the UF geology department, how to become a geologist and why geoscience is an excellent career choice.

Passport Prizes
Grab a passport and collect stamps as you explore–then receive a prize for your completed passport.

Make Your Own Earthquake!
Learn about how, why and where earthquakes happen then make your own earthquake and find out how you measure on the Richter scale.

Deep Ocean Drilling
Discover how scientists study the bottom of the ocean and sample your own “drill core” from our tasty ocean floor model.

Oreo Plate Tectonics
Use these tasty treats to explore the process behind mountain formation and how the world changes over time.

Investigating Ocean Acidification
The Earth is a big interconnected system. Discover how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can threaten coral reefs in the ocean!

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!

Mike’s Magic Mineral Show (schedule TBA)
Explore the magic of light and minerals!

Minerals, Minerals Everywhere
There are thousands of different kinds of minerals. Examine beautiful specimens of “nature’s art” and discover the many uses for minerals in your home and everyday life.

Tools of a Geologist
Learn why geologists are the real “Inspector Gadgets” and bring your minerals and rocks to be identified.

The Rock Cycle
Learn how rocks are continuously recycled on Earth into new rocks.

Gainesville Gem and Mineral Society
Meet local “rock hounds” and explore the transformation from rough stone to finished jewelry with members of GGMS. Get information about the club, events and how to join! See beautiful collections of club members and learn about what Florida has to offer for collecting.

Secrets of Sand
Take an up-close look under microscope to see the secrets of sand revealed.

Meteorites can and do strike the Earth as we’ve been so recently reminded. Check out these space rocks and see how they differ from those found on Earth.

Geologic Time Tunnel
Explore the “Tunnel of Time.” Take a journey back through time and explore our planet’s geologic history.

Rocks contain their own compasses, and they don’t always point north! See how scientists use Earth magnetism to reconstruct how the continents have moved through time.

See fossils of amazing prehistoric life forms and explore Florida’s fossil heritage.

Paleolimnology: Learning History from Lake Sediment
You may be surprised to learn what mud can tell us about climate and environmental change.

Groundwater‑Florida’s Precious Natural Resource
Investigate how groundwater flows through and shapes the subsurface while discovering Florida’s underground rivers. Then explore what you can do to protect our drinking water supply.

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.