Thursday, June 15, 2017

Does Pennsylvania Need An Official State Mineral? A First Grade Class Said, Of Quartz!

Pennsylvania has an official state animal-- whitetail deer, a tree-- hemlock, fish-- brook trout, plant-- Penngift crownvetch, insect-- firefly, flower-- mountain laurel, bird-- ruffed grouse, fossil-- phacops rana, dog-- great dane, beverage-- milk and even a state locomotive- PA Railroad K4S.
But Derek Sciecinski’s first grade class at Pennell Elementary School in Delaware County thought something was missing-- a state mineral.
Sciecinski lead his class in a statewide, social media campaign that included a video produced by the class to help pick what mineral should be the state rock.
Click Here to watch the video.
Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware) noticed the campaign, met with the students and announced his intention to introduce Senate Bill 610 to designate quartz as the official state mineral later that same day.
“The children in this class are rock stars! Their research and efforts on this project are impressive and I was glad to work with them on their project,” said Sen. Killion. “The students and teachers at Pennell should be commended for embracing technology and using it for research and civic engagement. These are lessons that will stay with these kids for life and make them engaged and educated citizens. We are in good hands as these students grow up and enter the world.” (from Delaware County Times)
Quartz is abundant in the Commonwealth, and can be found across the state in many forms and varieties.
This is not the first time a Delaware County school has helped initiate a proposal for a new state symbol, said Sen. Killion.
In 1974, the firefly (lightning bug) was designated the official state insect following a successful effort by students of Highland Park Elementary School in the Upper Darby School District, part of Sen. Thomas McGarrigle’s district.
Quartz or Anthracite?
Sen. Killion said quartz faces competition from another proposal.  Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery) has sponsored legislation-- House Bill 757-- to make anthracite the state mineral.
Senate Bill 610 was reported out of the Senate State Government Committee Wednesday and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.
House Bill 757 is still in the House State Government Committee.
To learn more about quartz and other rocks in Pennsylvania, read DCNR’s Bureau of Geologic Survey’s Rocks and Minerals Of Pennsylvania.

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