Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 78 miles roundtrip; approximately 2 hours total. Walking about 1/2 mile throughout the day; indoors and out along groomed paths; standing up to 1 hour at a time in museums, outdoors and for demonstrations; some stairs.
At the hotel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet complete with oatmeal, omelets, biscuits and gravy, and assorted pastries, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.
We’ll begin our week of STEAMD with a short drive via motorcoach to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, well known for their STEM academics. South Dakota Mines is recognized by companies in the United States, and some around the world, who are seeking superior graduates in engineering, especially in mineral and material Industries. Mines specifically works on preparing graduates to be capable leaders who focus on problem solving as their highest success. Geology professors at SDSM&T have unparalleled access to the region’s rich diversity of geologic formations from the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary eras. This morning we’ll join a Geology Professor for a brief overview of the area’s geologic overlay. Next, we’ll learn from a hands-on activity about rock strength estimation using a Schmidt Hamer and Point Load device. Using small lump samples of different rock types, we’ll talk about the influence that several geologic parameters have on rock strength and then, utilizing safety tools, we’ll get to break a few of the samples. Next, we’ll discuss sediment erosion and transport and incorporate a new hands-on learning tool; the Sediment Flume. Using our hands, we’ll move sediment channeling water flow variation and discover differing levels of sediment deposits. Lastly, we’ll get a brief overview of local topography and then partake in another hands-on experiment using an Augmented Reality Sandbox.
On the SDSM&T campus, we’ll have a buffet lunch with soft drinks, juices, milk and water included.
We will see how what we learned this morning applies to Mt. Rushmore and how techniques have changed in the last 60 years. We’ll compare what was done at Mount Rushmore to what is being done today at the Crazy Horse Memorial, Both have been carved with dynamite, jackhammers, drills, and even sonic torches. Under the guidance of our expert Group Leader, we’ll explore the United States’ Shrine of Democracy – Mount Rushmore. Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore, wrote: “The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.” Borglum intended his monumental sculpture to be not only a memorial to four of our greatest Presidents, but a Shrine to Democracy. Why these four? Washington led the nascent United States to win independence from Great Britain. Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Roosevelt the “trust buster” ensured the rights of working people and was instrumental in building the Panama Canal. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War. Borglum began work in 1927 and continued until his death in 1941, when his son, Lincoln Borglum, took it on and ended work later that year. The Crazy Horse Memorial, just 20 miles away, is still being carved. In its 60 years of progress, the carvers have used dynamite, large bulldozers, sonic torches, and now diamond saws to blast and cut away the rock. You’ll have a chance to collect a rock from the carving and take it home as a souvenir! Upon arrival, we’ll meet a local expert staff member who will lead us around Crazy Horse's Museums while teaching us about its campus that serves as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts and crafts, and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center. Once complete, the memorial will be the largest outdoor sculpture in the world at 641 feet long and 563 feet high.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a buffet meal with a choice of entrée, sides, vegetables, salad, and dessert, plus soft drinks, coffee, water included.
We'll return to the hotel in Rapid City via motorcoach for the remainder of the evening at leisure.