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Tectonic Fury to hit Lamar University campus Friday as the JASON project returns

The JASON Alliance of Southeast Texas (JASET) and Lamar University will host this year’s JASON Project event Operation Tectonic Fury at the John Gray Center on the LU campus Jan. 21 - Feb. 8.

The nearly 10,000 southeast Texas 4-8th graders and their teachers will attend the program that this year focuses on geological sciences. Highlights of each 2-hour session include an hour-long geology video produced by Lamar’s communication and Earth and space sciences departments and shot at high profile Southeast Texas geologic venues including the Hockley Rock Salt Mine, the Big Thicket National Preserve, Rollover Pass, paleontology exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and downtown Beaumont.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Lake Charles will simulate a volcanic eruption from Mt. JASON. Hour-long Interactive breakout sessions will be hosted by experts from the General Land Office Oil Spill Response team, the Big Thicket National Preserve, Village Creek State Park, Texas Parks & Wildlife Coastal Fisheries, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, the National Weather Service, AgriLife Extension Service,  Baptist Hospital, ChevronPhillips, ExxonMobil, Flint Hills, Motiva, TOTAL and Valero.

Preparation for the 2011 event began last spring. It included taking eight JASON teacher trainers on a summer expedition to experience Mt. St. Helens in Washington, the Columbia River Gorge between Washington and Oregon, the volcanic rocks and geyser basins of Yellowstone National Park, the tectonically built peaks of Grand Tetons National Park, and Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming. This year’s peer teacher-trainers include Carolyn Barnes, Vidor ISD; Susan Harsh and Jennie Knapp, Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD; and Cindy Parish, Julie Randolph, Jan Ruppel, Jennifer Wright, and Sharon Yee of Beaumont ISD.

Tectonic Fury hands-on science curriculum is produced annually by the JASON Project, a subsidiary of National Geographic. During the fall semester, JASON director D’Ann Douglas, project scientist Jim Westgate, University Professor of Earth & Space Sciences, and the eight peer trainers trained more than 200 local science teachers and science teachers from the Texas School for the Deaf, in the Tectonic Fury curriculum.

JASET is a non-profit educational outreach organization sponsored by Lamar University and local Chambers of Commerce. Participation in the JASON Project is offered free to all local schools through funding from local industries, foundations and individual donors.