Champaign Students Take Field Trip to Kickapoo State Park

Geologist identities rocks for students

All 35 fifth-grade classes in the Champaign Unit 4 School District (approximately 800 students, teachers, and chaperones) participated in an ISGS Geological Science Field Trip to Kickapoo State Park, which was conducted on six days from September 12 through November 9 as part of the schools’ earth science curriculum.

The geology trip to Kickapoo State Park included stops at bedrock outcrops, a historic coal mine entrance, reclaimed strip-mined lands, and a point bar on the Middle Fork Vermilion River, where scientists conducted an erosion demonstration and rock identification exercise with the students.

Geologist with students at outcropping

The field trips were conducted by ISGS geologists Joan Crockett, Bill Dey, Andrew Phillips, Lisa Anderson, Melinda Higley, Mark Yacucci, Jason Thomason, Eric Plankell, and Pius Weibel and geologists Bjorn Brooks (University of Illinois postdoctoral research scientist) and Erin Bauer (Illinois Water Survey). In addition, ISGS graphic artist Mike Knapp provided video and photographic support, and ISGS support staff (Ron Klass, Maggie Harrah, Kathy Henry, Derek Sompong, and Susan Krusemark) served as trip assistants.

The Kickapoo trip was funded in part by a grant awarded by the Office of Public Engagement at the University of Illinois, with Crockett (ISGS) and Kristin Camp (Science and Health Curriculum Coordinator, Champaign Unit 4 Schools) as principal investigators. The guidebook, by Crockett and ISGS scientist Barb Stiff, will be made available as a free downloadable publication on the ISGS website for use by schools, youth groups, families, and others.