North Jersey boasts a very interesting attraction in the Sterling Hill Mineral Mine & Museum. This place is going to merit more than one visit – there is so much to see and learn.
I asked Gavin and Dennis to make sure we were well prepared for the trip and they did. We went well-armed with the proper hammers, chisels and safety goggles for everyone. I was very glad that I left Sean home for this trip and do not recommend it to anyone with little ones. The establishment recommends it for 7 and above and I would have to agree.
Forget Minecraft! The Boyz had the opportunity for real-life mining – hammering, banging, chiseling, smashing, crashing and crushing. They were in search of Sterling Mines’ plethora of fluorescing minerals – as well as the other rocks such as slate, granite, quartz, chalk and mica, to name a few, that they found. Thanks to Ethan, we were supplied with a selection of rock identification books 😉
In the mine, there is a UV light situated in a shed so that you can view your treasures under the light to help identify what you might have found. Watching the boring, gray rocks light up in the colors of the rainbow is completely fascinating.
Our tour guide was excellent and provided information about the era in which the mine operated, the culture of mining, the structure of the mine and technical information about tools and techniques that were employed. He talked about wages and cost of living and the dangers of the work. It was a history and science lesson all rolled into one, while we were standing in the place that it all happened.
The museum was well-appointed with all manner of mining accoutrement, rare and common rocks and an exceptional periodic table filled with real life items. There were other activities that we did not get too.
“Learning is not the product of teaching.
Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”
~ John Holt