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Michigan teachers learn a thing or two about the U.P.s geology
by Nick Brennan, TV6 reporter

HOUGHTON -- Tuesday's weather conditions were less than ideal. But that didn't stop nine teachers from all around Michigan from expanding their education about geology and natural resources in the U.P., particularly on the subject of mining.

"Mining is such an important part of the heritage up here and of the U.P. and the Keweenaw. So, I wanted to focus on how geology impacts mining and how it impacted the development of this area." said program instructor Alex Guth.

The event was hosted by Michigan Tech University, but these teachers weren't stuck in a classroom.

They learned in real time the history and impact of the U.P.'s rich natural resources history at a cluster of lava rocks in Houghton, the Quincy Smelter site and the Gay Stamp Sands to name only a few places.

Alex Guth says this type of learning is essential to get a firm grasp on geology.

"There's a fairly infamous adage where 'the best geologist is the one who's seen the most rocks'. And so, I think there really is something to say about getting people out there, looking at the rocks in person. It's better than reading any sort of textbook. It's better than looking at stuff online." said Guth.

And while most teachers take their knowledge back to their classrooms, at least one teacher there is going to put what she's learned to the test outside of school.

"I'll be going on the Pacific Ocean, south of Japan and I'll be on a drill ship. We'll be drilling into the ocean bed, we'll be drilling rock that was basically formed in similar ways to what we're looking at here in the U.P." said Midland high school teacher Beth Christiansen.

The teaching program came about due to high demand from Michigan teachers to learn more about the U.P.'s geological history.

It began on Monday and will conclude on Friday.

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