What does the Appalachian Mountains, 1,803 feet, zinc, and willemite all have in common? If you answered Assumption Catholic’s Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Spring Field trip, you are correct! On Monday, March 28, 2010, 62 students, 27 chaperones, and 3 teachers boarded the buses for a day of fun-filled exploration. Our first stop was the Sterling Hill Mine where everyone traveled back in time to 1914-1986 when the New Jersey Zinc Company owned and operated the mine. Our tour began in Zoebel Exhibit Hall where over 20,000 items where on display. There were fossils, florescent minerals, mining equipment, fossils, ore specimens, periodic table display, meteorites, and a locker room where the men would change before going into the mine. After exploring the hall, grade groups were taken on an underground tour of the mine. We traveled 1,300 feet underground and learned what it was like to work in the mine by visiting the lamp room, shaft station, and mine galleries. One highlight of the tour was a visit to the Rainbow Room where brightly fluorescent zinc ore is exposed in the mine walls. Illuminated under ultraviolet light, the walls glow bright green and red, the green signaling the presence of Willemite, one of the main zinc ore minerals at Sterling Mine. After the mine, the students went on a Rock Discovery Tour where they were able to pick out species of basalt, marble, sandstone, slate, coal, and garnet.
After lunch we boarded the bus and headed even further north to High Point State Park. High Point State Park is the highest peak in the Kittatinny Mountains, which is part of the Appalachian Mountain Range. It is 1,803 feet and the highest point in NJ. From High Point you can see three states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. On display at High Point is a 220-foot obelisk monument honoring the War Veterans.