Museum hosts 'Rock Fest'

Deanna Bonn
Butler County Times Gazette
Smashing geodes and looking for crystal formations on the inside.

Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum held its annual Rock Fest on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Rock Fest is a free event hosted by the museum for visitors to learn about the geology of Kansas.

The rain held off and the cool weather provided the perfect atmosphere for the event. With more than 20 vendors and activities and 10 acres of outdoor fun, there was something for everyone to enjoy including a fun family Yoga activity. Participants were entered to win a Fitbit sponsored by Humanities Kansas. And a scavenger hunt gave visitors the chance to find objects and win prizes.

Guests learned about fossils in Kansas.

Kansas Strong brought their mobile energy education truck. The truck provides hands-on STEM education on wheels.

Visitors were able to make their own pet rock, learn about geology with fossils found in Kansas, explore Geodes with a Geologist were they were able to break open a geode and find crystals.

Volunteer Dale Wilson gave tours highlighting oil field equipment.

Wes Hansen with the Kansas Geological Society taught about mineral formation.

“Geodes have a more resistant layer on the outside,” said Hansen. “But fluid can still pass through the rock and when it does, it crystallizes. Most often the mineral inside is quartz.”

Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Southwest 2020 and founder of ‘Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!’ was glad to be invited to teach an engineering activity using rocks and Play-doh.

“I love to volunteer in my community for events like Rock Fest,” said Bonn. “Free events like today provide an opportunity for hands-on learning about STEAM and help kids have fun while learning about science, technology, engineering, arts and math.”

Sierra Marie Bonn teaches about engineering using rocks and Play-Doh.

Tours of the vintage oil equipment and living history presentations were part of the educational fun.

Jodi Hoffman, Valley Center resident, came to hear living history presenter John Schuster. Schuster shared about the use of nitroglycerin in the oil industry.

“I didn’t realize all this was here,” said Hoffman when referring to the museum. “What a gem it is!”

Tours of the vintage oil equipment and living history presentations were part of the educational fun.