Research & Education

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The ARL-SEM Q electron microprobe in use

A major focus on Research and Education will preserve the past and chart future exploration and knowledge for elementary to graduate school students and lifelong learners.

The Research Facility

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Dr. Skip and Al underground at Mt. Mica

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum will hold special interest for students pursuing advanced study in mineralogy.

The MP2 Research Group from the University of New Orleans has relocated its entire research facility and instrumentation to the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum (MP2 stands for Mineralogy, Petrology and Pegmatology, three major areas of geological study). The MP2 Research Group consists of three members, all from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New Orleans: Dr. Skip Simmons, Research Professor and Professor of Mineralogy, Alexander U. Falster, research technologist and Dr. Karen L. Webber, petrologist. The team has several decades of experience and 400 publications on mineralogical and geological topics. this mineralogical research program will have specific focus on exploring the pegmatites of Maine and their minerals.

The MP2 Research Laboratory houses an electron microprobe, a scanning electron microscope, an X-ray diffractometer, a direct couple plasma spectrometer, polarized light microscopes and various additional research instruments, providing the foundation for active mineralogical research and opportunities for scientific investigation.

In addition, there will be an internship program for students seeking advanced degrees. The program will offer housing in the immediate area, access to the research laboratory, and unlimited exploration in the Maine countryside.

The Educational Opportunity…

IMG_0717Museums are valued for their immersive and consolidated approach to education. Whether a child learns by touch, by sight, or by sound, a well-designed place is assured to spark curiosity. The display floors of the Museum will surely accomplish this, as every effort has been made to ensure each exhibit reaches its potential to inspire. But planting the seed isn’t enough. We’re here to help it grow.

The Museum started its education program by hosting school groups for educational, hands-on tours of the historic Bumpus Mine. These efforts are simply a prelude to ensure that once the museum is fully operational, that it meets the standardized curriculum requirements ranging from early earth sciences up through the levels of higher education. The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum promises to deliver an immersive, well-rounded, and active educational component. Mineralogy surrounds us. In this field of study, nature is the classroom.

Within Oxford County and well-beyond, our promise is to develop a curriculum that inspires a new generation. We expect that field trips to the museum and tours of local mines will become mainstays for schools from throughout Maine.

Lectures, demonstrations and hands-on classes will be part of our outreach to invite educators and the community to be a part of this one of a kind museum.