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  • Grass Padrique

Updates on the UP NIGS UPGAA Geology Museum

Since 2006, the NIGS UPGAA Geology Museum has been a teaching venue for educators who wish to introduce earth science to their students from grade school to college levels. Each display has been designed to be a self-explanatory teaching aid with all the specimens on display carefully chosen for a more visual and hands-on learning experience. In the last few months, we have actively campaigned for the museum on social media to ensure that every Filipino who has access to Facebook, Instagram, or Thread knows about its existence. We have also used social media to post about the specimens and interesting facts about them so that everyone gets to see what the museum has to offer. Because of this, we saw an influx of visitors from homeschooling groups, private schools, various universities, and geology professors from abroad. Recently, we welcomed more than one hundred Geology Licensure Exam reviewers who explored the different displays and specimens as part of their review.

Aside from the influx of guests, we have been improving our displays these past few months. Just to list a few, we have added a hardbound, full-color copy of Typhoon Yolanda to supplement our Geohazard section. We have also recently added pop-up books including one about marine life in our library for the kids to appreciate ocean biodiversity. The National Museum also donated a copy of their recent publication, Fossil Records of Prehistoric Life in the Philippines, which is now on display in our Reading Nook.

This pop-up book which features different marine life from shallow tidal pools to deep marine environments has become a bestseller among our young patrons

Did you know that rocks can be turned into papers that are fireproof and waterproof? We added two envelopes of these papers in Display No. 5 that feature “Everyday Use of Minerals” with an explanation of how rocks were sustainably transformed into paper. We have also added fresh ore samples donated by mining companies and a cobble-sized tillite donated by an alumna from Switzerland to finally complete the Sedimentary Environments display. We are now working on our Ophiolites in the Philippines Display [AP1] which will soon feature rocks obtained from ophiolite sequences and a map showing the distribution of ophiolites in the Philippines. Four working electronic display microscopes have been added in the Fossils Section so that guests would be able to view microfossils from shallow and deep sections of the ocean up to 400x magnification. All these improvements have been possible because of the support that the Museum receives from the faculty, researchers, and alumni of the National Institute of Geological Sciences. The Museum, Nannoworks Laboratory team members, and NIGS docents will continue to work hard so that our visitors will learn to appreciate the earth sciences and its applications in their lives.

(left) Limestone can be made sustainably into papers that can survive the elements outdoors. (middle) Tillite sample from Switzerland. (right) Electronic display microscope that can magnify microfossils up to 400x.

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