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UTEP celebrates Earth Science Day

Special to the Prospector
Children learn how to shift for gold.

The Geological Sciences department celebrated Earth Science Day inside the Geology building on Saturday afternoon to showcase the department and teach the community about the importance of Earth Science.

The celebration is part of Earth Science Week, which is a national effort by the American Geological Institute for engaging the public in Earth Science. This year’s theme was “Earth and Human Activity.” Earth Science Day is celebrated on Saturday, at the end of Earth Science week each year.

This year’s celebration brought out around 500 guests from the UTEP and El Paso community.

Multiple events were held throughout a four-hour period, and took place inside the Geology building and outside on the lawn in front of the building.

The lawn was used to showcase a drone demo manned by geological sciences professor Jose Hurtado.

“This is an annual event we have done here at the department for the last 10 years,” Hurtado said. “We have an open house with lots of activities going on. The drone flights are one of them. We have other hands-on activities for kids and families inside.”

Another event held out on the lawn was the Weather Balloon Launch.

Activities included a pet rock table where kids could paint rocks, a game of Environmental Advocates BINGO and a Rocks and Minerals exhibit showcasing the various rocks and minerals that can be found around the region.

Pan for Gold which held in the courtyard of the building was another draw that taught kids how to find gold in the water.

The flubber and slime room was packed with kids making their own slime.

In total, there were 22 different activities and exhibits held throughout the event.

Frankie Enriquez, a senior geological science major, expressed the importance of the UTEP community to understand what the Department of Geological Sciences does.

“Many people think it’s just looking at rocks,” Enriquez said. “It’s so much more than that. It’s important to inform people at UTEP and in El Paso about how geology and environmental science impacts them and where they live.”

Free food and drinks were given out to all the guests in the courtyard. Treats and candies were also set up at each station. As kids learned about each exhibit, they also received a treat for stopping by.

The event was free and open to the public. Although many of the guests were affiliated with UTEP and the department, the hope was that more of the El Paso community was able to come out and enjoy the day.

“This is just a great way to get the community involved with UTEP,” Hurtado said. “In particular the Geological Sciences department, to give them an idea of what we do, what we’re about. It’s a lot of fun.”

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UTEP celebrates Earth Science Day