Mike Means

Local artist and workshop instructor, Mike Means, shows a sample of the shale rock and one of the uncleaned crystal children will be working with at his South Arkansas Arts Center workshops.

The South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado continues to offer summer activities for young people.

For students entering second and third grades, Mike Means is offering "Crystal Digging" from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, July 24.

On Friday, July 31, students entering fourth and fifth grades can participate in "Fossil Digging" from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Cost for each of the student workshops is $20.

"If you enjoy nature, science and art - I hope you come join me for the fun!" said Means. "I've always loved the science behind geology, and living in Arkansas with its abundance of crystal locations has fascinated me. I remember the rock shops that used to dot the highways of northwest Arkansas. Fossils just are Cool. Holding something that represents a living creature from over 500,000 million years old is just amazing to me."

The Crystal Digging Workshop will feature a large bucket from a Hot Springs-area mine.

“Since the crystals are found in the red clay, participants could get their hands pretty dirty. We will be using water and small brushes to wash the clay from the crystals. Everyone will get to keep what they find. Hopefully that will be a beautiful clear quartz crystal,” Means said.

The shale rock for the Fossil Digging Workshop comes from a mining area in Utah that does nothing but dig up fossils.

Participants will look for prehistoric sea animals known as trilobites. They look a little like horseshoe crabs that first appeared around 540 million years ago. The fossil hunting won't be too dirty, but will take time and skill with a small hammer to reveal the fossils.

"Having fun is the goal. If the kids accidentally learn something along the way, that's cool," Means said.

The limit is 10 students per workshop

CLICK HERE to register online.

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