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Core Kids students

Geology and Natural Resources
(CoreKids trifold brochure - pdf)


Look around you.  Where did all of the “stuff” you use every day come from?  Are you sitting on a plastic chair?  Do you have rock countertops in your kitchen and bathrooms?  Do you use pencils or powder? 

Almost everything we use every day comes from our natural resources, and many of those natural resources are geological – they come from under the surface of the earth.  Rocks, minerals, water, oil and gas are all geological resources that we depend on every day.

Where do we get the water and the oil that we pump up from underground?  Is it in pools and rivers running underground?  Or is it trapped somewhere else?  Let’s find out!

Our favorite links for information on Natural Resources:

CoreKids Natural Resources Programs in January and February 2009

We have had two very busy months to start out 2009. We visited all of the 3rd graders at Mattawan Later Elementary School - once to talk about Michigan Geology and Natural Resources and once to talk about Climate Change. We also visited the 3rd grade Visions class at Plainwell's Starr Elementary to explore Michigan Geology and we will visit them again in late February to talk about Michigan's Geological Natural Resources.

CoreKids and MGRRE also hosted several field trip groups in January and February.

  • Mrs. Kortlandt's Environmental Science Class from Otsego High School
  • WMU Upward Bound Program's 9th and 10th graders from Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Mrs. Setsma's 8th graders from Kalamazoo Christian Middle School

Field trip groups had the opportunity to explore the concepts of porosity and permeability of rocks and sediments and learned why these concepts are important in everyday life. They also used data from an oil well in SW Michigan to determine at what depth geologists would have expected to find natural resources and then examined the rock core from the well to see what rocks holding our natural resources look like.

What is that black stuff in the rocks? Could that be OIL? So maybe oil, gas and water isn't really flowing in underground rivers and streams, maybe, as our visitors learned, it is really inside the pore spaces in rocks. Parents, ask your CoreKids about porosity and permeability and they can probably set you straight!

lyema0204 lynema0206 lyemacore

2242 thru 2244 feet deep
2235 thru 2237 feet deep
2226 thru 2228 feet deep

The numbers written in black on the rock are the depths below the surface of Allegan County that the core sample was taken at. The oil well the students worked with data and samples from was drilled in July of 1987 and the rock core is preserved at the Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education, where today's geologists can go to examine data and rocks from the past in order to better explore for and manage Michigan's natural resources today.

Check back again – we have more resources coming.


University Website Design
for WMU (Western Michigan University) by
Kallen Web Design of Kalamazoo, MI.

Peter Voice

Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education (MGRRE)
Department of Geosciences

Western Michigan University

1903 W. Michigan Ave.

Kalamazoo, Michigan  49008-5241
(269) 387-8696