Update! The first two workshops are full, but we have added an additional Crystal Workshop, from 10:30-11:30 on Friday, August 7 for students entering the second through forth grades.

Hey kids! You looking for something fun to do? You could go “digging” with Mike Means at the South Arkansas Arts Center! For students entering second and third grades, Mr. Mike is offering “Crystal Digging” on Friday, July 24, from 10:30-11:30. On Friday, July 31, students entering fourth and fifth grades can participate in “Fossil Digging” from 10:30-11:30. 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 instructor Mike 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.”

Just outside of Hot Springs are many mining areas that you can actually go and dig up your own crystals. For the Crystal Digging Workshop, we pick-up a large bucket from one of these mines. 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.

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

Limit 10 students per workshop. Come prepared to get a little dirty, and wear your mask! Bring gloves and safety goggles if you have them, otherwise they will be provided. Call the South Arkansas Arts Center for more information.


Photo Caption: Local artist and workshop instructor, Mike Means, shows a sample of the shale rock and one of the uncleaned crystal kids will be working with at his upcoming workshops: “Crystal Digging” on Friday, July 24 for 2nd-3rd graders and Fossil Diggin on Friday, July 31 for 4-5th graders from 10:30 to 11:30. Working with scene shop manager April Hoover, both workshops will be hosted in the scene shop. Everyone will have plenty of room to spread out and social distance.