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Minerals Rock! Opens at the County Museum

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– A new exhibit, “Minerals Rock! Unearthing the Human Element,” tracing the science, value, and impact of minerals in our society, opens at the San Bernardino County Museum on Thursday, July 5.

The exhibit tells the story of minerals: what they are, where they come from, and their role in human culture. Minerals are all around us in modern life; they are a critical component of our cellphones, roadways, and toothpaste, yet these same minerals can have significant global impact. The exhibit includes exquisite examples of fluorescent minerals, crystals, and ore, and features the mining equipment that extracts the minerals and the mineral-based products that result. Digital microscopes allow visitors to view fragments magnified, and a small theater screens science presentations.

“Minerals do indeed rock!” said Ian Gilbert, the museum’s curator of earth sciences. “The importance of minerals in our lives is so much more than just beautiful crystals. In fact, life as we know it would not exist without them. From the first stone tool to the modern mobile phone in your pocket, minerals and elements they contain have allowed us to interact with and explore our world. Their impacts on art, science, culture, and technology have made us who we are today.”

Melissa Russo, museum director, said, “Minerals Rock! illustrates how vital minerals are to our county, from the colorful history of exploration and scientific discovery, to the mining industry that fuels economic prosperity, to the numerous products that benefit our everyday lives, and the ways in which our choices in the disposal of these products can have significant impact on our environment. The goal of this exhibit is to enrich our visitors with an understanding of the ‘life’ cycle of a mineral, and inspire positive choices.”

“Minerals Rock! Unearthing the Human Element” is a multidisciplinary exhibit curated by Ian Gilbert with Tamara Serrao-Leiva, curator of anthropology; Jennifer Dickerson, curator of history; Jessika Vazquez, curator of integrated science; and David Myers, curator of visitor engagement and exhibits. It contains mineral specimens, photographs, and artifacts from the museum’s permanent collection.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s exhibits of regional cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcounty.gov/museum. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

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