The Alberta Research Council Teacher Research Experience Program offers six weeks of summer employment for elementary, junior high and high school teachers interested in learning more about the application of science by working with a scientist at the Alberta Research Council (ARC). In 1993 Ms. Claudine Coleman of T.D. Baker Junior High School in Edmonton was hired to work with Mr. Dixon Edwards of the Alberta Geological Survey (a department of the ARC). The current research of Mr. Edwards involves the investigation of rocks and minerals which may lead to the discovery of diamonds.
The purpose of this project was to give Ms. Coleman the opportunity to experience geological research during her employment with the ARC. In addition to this personal development a report was produced which can supplement the teaching of rocks and minerals in the classroom. The report uses diamonds as a theme and a springboard for teaching students about rocks and minerals because at present Alberta is experiencing an exploration boom for diamonds. Each section contains background information on the topic and a lesson plan along with some question sheets and/or activities the teacher can use. The background information is meant to supplement what is already in most textbooks and although it is meant for the teacher it is written so that the information can be given to the students. Each lesson is designed so that it ties in with the lesson before it and any question sheets or other activities accompanying the lesson can be assigned or used in the classroom however the teacher chooses.
It is important to emphasize with the students that many of the theories involving diamonds and diamond formation are still quite young. As our knowledge and technology increases, new evidence may surface to change the theories we believe to be true today. This is the same with any scientific theory and it is important to emphasize this when introducing new theories, like diamond formation, to students.
Coleman, C. and Edwards, W.A.D. (1993): Strike it rich: a supplement to teaching rocks and minerals; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Open File Report 1993-22, 55 p.