Students visit the Strataca mine under Hutchinson

By Melinda Dome

Melinda Dome/Collegian - Instructor Brian Bird (second from left) with students, inspecting an exhibit.
Melinda Dome/Collegian - Instructor Brian Bird (second from left) with students, inspecting an exhibit.

Physical Geology lab students took trips 650 feet underground on Nov. 18 and 19.

The two groups of students and their instructor, Brian Bird, visited the Strataca Kansas Underground Salt Museum. They learned about decades of shaft mine operations at the Carey Salt Mine.

They observed various geologic features within the walls of the museum itself.

They peered into exhibits containing things such as old blasting materials and information about the formation of the salt layers.

There was the car Mike Rowe drove during season II, Episode 42, of the “Dirty Jobs” TV show. They watched videos tucked into dioramic alcoves located throughout the museum.

The students also toured the Underground Vaults gallery to see props, costumes, and artwork from various famous movies and TV shows, stored in the mine’s perfect 68-degree temperature and 45 percent humidity.

They were also allowed to choose and take home their own specimens of rock salt dug from the mine.

The trips were paid for by Hutchinson Community College.

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