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posted: 1/10/2013 8:53 AM

'Rocks and Minerals' exhibit opens at Benedictine University

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  • Visitors can learn about the importance of rocks and minerals in a new exhibit that opens Jan. 21 at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum on the campus of Benedictine University in Lisle.

      Visitors can learn about the importance of rocks and minerals in a new exhibit that opens Jan. 21 at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum on the campus of Benedictine University in Lisle.
    Courtesy Benedictine University

 
By Ryan Blackburn
Benedictine University

You can't heat your home or drive your car without them.

You wouldn't be able to catch episodes of "Homeland," bring out the flavor in one of your favorite dishes or adequately propose to the person of your dreams.

Yes, life would be pretty boring without rocks and minerals. In fact, they are one of the greatest sources of human consumption.

The average American is now expected to use about 3 million pounds of rocks, minerals and fossil fuels throughout their lifetime, according to the Mineral Information Institute.

You can learn how these geologic objects influence nearly every aspect of modern life -- from electricity and travel to sustenance and shelter -- at a new exhibit, "Rocks and Minerals," which will be unveiled during an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum on the campus of Benedictine University, 5700 College Road, Lisle.

Visitors to the "Rocks and Minerals" exhibit also will learn to identify how rocks and minerals formed and be able to distinguish between their different types.

The new permanent exhibit represents a portion of the more than 10,000 specimens and artifacts collected by noted biologists Frs. Hilary and Edmond Jurica, and the late Fr. Theodore Suchy. Public admission to the museum is free.

"The new display, like all of our exhibits, is meant to inspire people to take a closer look at the world around them and to appreciate the world's natural diversity," said Karly Tumminello, museum curator. "We hope people will learn something new about rocks and minerals and how these natural resources are essential to our daily lives."

A "Specimen Touch Table," featuring skulls, pelts and casts of animal tracks native to Northern Illinois, also will be on display, and children can take advantage of a craft booth where they can explore plant and butterfly life cycles, and color a book or assemble an animal mask to take home.

Museum visitors also can examine a rorqual whale skeleton, woolly mammoth bone and a variety of other animal and fossil specimens displayed throughout the museum.

For details, contact Tumminello at ktumminello@ben.edu or (630) 829-6531.

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