Fall 2006 Term Projects
Last Updated:  November 23rd, 2006

Spruce Pine Pegmatites:

This project coordinated by Mr. Smith investigates the production of silica and feldspar from the spruce pime pegmatite formation in western North Carolina.  The student investigators are researching the history of quartz and feldspar mining in western North Carolina and current mining operations being conducted to support the silican chip and ceramic industry.
Students: Rachel Snyder (9), Sarah Burden (9), and Ashley Rowles (9)

Spruce Pine Pegmatite
Alkalai Feldspar (white upper left), Smokey Quartz (gray center)
(The third mineral is muscovite mica)

Rachel, Sarah, and Ashley break up the pegmatite, and hand sort the silica (quartz) from the feldspar much like women in the 1940s did when the men were engaged in mining or fighting World War 2

Rachel and Sarah wat work on a piece of pegmatite

Ashley used a chisel end rock hammer

The "Spruce Pine Girls"

Ashley's dad joined in the fun

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