State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Diamond Mine Field Trip on Despite Strike

The strike made front page news.

 We woke up Wednesday morning to find out that all unionized government workers, including public school teachers, were on strike. All schools were shuttered and we worried that no one would show up for our workshop.

But we arrived at class to find all of our teachers present. They told us this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and they didn’t want to miss a moment.

For the day’s activities we traveled to the Cullinan diamond mine, where one of the world’s largest diamond—the Star of Africa—was discovered. With help from a Cullinan tour guide, Ed and I discussed how diamonds form deep in the Earth. The mine is still active today and we watched as rock was transported to the surface to be crushed and washed for diamond separation. This sparked a discussion about the types of careers that are available in the mining industry – everything from geologists to engineers to miners to doctors.

One of the world's largest diamonds, now part of the British Crown Jewels, came from the Cullinan Mine.

After the trip, we talked about other potential field trips and how to plan a teaching curriculum around them. One major reason I went into geology was to be out in the field exploring. Field trips are a great way to teach students to observe the world around them and gain a deeper understanding of the subject material.

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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