Club Corner: Partnerships Benefit All


Compiled by Antoinette Rahn

Editor’s Note: Through this column, we honor the work and focus of rock and mineral clubs throughout the U.S. and beyond.

The Southwest Gem and Mineral Society (SWGMS) of San Antonio recently 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

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

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.

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 ( 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 the club’s September meeting. The kits were purchased and in early October were presented to the coordinators of the NISD after-school program.

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 (

Making the Most of ‘Rock Party’ Gatherings

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.”— Alice Waters

There are many ways to explain the importance of gathering with others, but this quote from Alice Waters sums it up nicely.

Left to right, club members Sampson Bayer and Nick Lytle working with the the Genie gem making equipment. BRETT JURGENS

Something that appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Lincoln Gem & Mineral Club’s Pick & Shovel newsletter inspired this focus on ‘gathering’. Within the newsletter, mention is made of upcoming ‘rock parties.’ Sometimes the location of these gatherings is the home of a club member, while other monthly parties are held at local businesses. Regardless of the location, there’s no question these rock parties are enjoyed by all.

According to the post-October rock party report, members gathered at the home of Jackie and Charles “Wooly” Woolridge for a potluck-style meal, great conversation, camaraderie, and the opportunity to use various pieces of lapidary equipment.

The Lincoln Gem & Mineral Club, Inc. of Lincoln, Nebraska ( is affiliated with the Midwest Federation of Mineralogical & Geological Societies (, which is part of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (


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