Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

Badge 7 Communication

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7. Communication

Part of enjoying a hobby is sharing it with others. They say you don‘t truly know something until you‘re able to teach it to another. Learning to communicate effectively is an important skill. If you go on to become a geologist or paleontologist, you‘ll discover that science isn‘t complete until your findings are written up and shared with colleagues, either in a public address or in a journal article or a book. If you go on to become a lapidary artist, you‘ll find great enjoyment in sharing your skills and techniques with others as an informal mentor or in formal workshop settings. You‘ll find lifelong benefit to learning the basics of effective communication, both within the hobby and beyond.

Activity 7.1: Oral Report

Give a talk to your club or to your class at school about a trip you took, a project you did, a special rock or fossil you‘ve collected, etc. In preparing your presentation, consider the key questions that all reporters ask: Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?

Activity 7.2: Written Report or Newsletter Article

Write a 250- to 500-word article for your club newsletter. Follow the news reporter‘s questions of who, what, where, when, how, and why.

Activity 7.3: Bulletin Board or Poster Board Displays

Prepare a bulletin or poster board display for your show, library, or school on rocks, fossils, minerals, or the lapidary arts. Use pictures to convey most of your information, with writing kept to a minimum, mostly in the form of banners and headlines.

Activity 7.4: Corresponding With Experts

A great way to learn is by corresponding with experts who have made a career out of gemology, paleontology, or geology. Write or email a local jeweler, a paleontologist in a museum, a geology professor at a university, etc. These people are usually very busy, so you should briefly tell them who you are and what you‘re interested in. Then ask something very specific you‘d like to know about their work. Share their answers with your fellow club members at your next meeting or in a report for your club newsletter.

Activity 7.5: Holding a Symposium

Geologists and paleontologists often get together in meetings to exchange ideas, give lectures, and hold symposiums. A symposium is a series of 3 or 4 brief talks organized around a specific topic. Each speaker presents, and then there‘s an opportunity for questions and discussions. Come up with a topic and hold your own symposium.

Activity 7.6: Writing a Field Trip Guide

Write a guide to your favorite collecting locality. Provide a brief overview of what‘s to be found; how to get to the site, with written directions and a map; and the tools you‘ll need and how to go about collecting. (Are the specimens on the surface? Do you need to dig for them with a shovel?) If several members of your club write guides to different sites, you can put them together into a local guidebook for your club and school.