Club Corner: Helping Youth Discover the Joy of Geology


The Southwest Gem and Mineral Society (SWGMS) of San Antonio shared news of a collaborative program between the group and a local school district to promote the study of rocks and minerals.

As part of the club’s outreach program, SWGMS received a proposal from the Northside Independent School District (NISD) to help fund its program activities. The support serves 79 elementary schools and 20 middle schools with an enrollment of about 13,500 students, as reported by the SWGMS.

Mineral and Meteorite Sets Serve to Inspire Interest

SWGMS member John Speck presents the rock and mineral and meteorite sets to Laura Barrera, of the NISD. (Photo courtesy SWGMS)

The proposal included a request for ten basic rock and mineral sets with 15 specimens for use by elementary classes and five rock and mineral earth science sets, with 75 specimens, for the middle school curriculum. In addition, the proposal included 20 meteorite kits each containing one iron and one stony meteorite.

The project was coordinated by Laura Barrera, curriculum specialist, After-School Enrichment Programs, NISD; Tiffany Moreno, coordinator of Community Education, NISD; and John Speck, SWGMS.

The rock and mineral kits were selected from several that are offered by Home Science Tools — (Look for an advertisement for this prolific brand of science tools and kits for children on the Rock & Gem site.) Finding twenty quality iron and stony meteorites for a price within the club›s budget was much more challenging. Brian Barnett of Lonestar Meteorites was able to find the desired meteorites at a price within the club’s budget.

The proposal was presented and approved during one of the club’s meetings in late 2019. The kits were purchased and were presented to the coordinators of the NISD after-school program before the end of 2019.

The Southwest Gem and Mineral Society (SWGMS — of San Antonio is affiliated with the South Central Federation of Mineral Societies (, which is part of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (


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