Past Events Mineralogists Project Group 2015

Monday, 26 January 2015, 4 pm

„Minecraft“ at the terra mineralia

On Monday 26 January 2015, the Mineralogen AG will be meeting at 16.00 for the first time in the new year and will be taking a look at the popular Minecraft computer game. The young people are going to be learning how much geology and mineralogy lies behind this game.

Minecraft is one of those games everyone’s been talking about for years. The name refers to getting mineral resources from underground shafts and chasms in mines – the “mine” part of the name being the mines or pits, the “craft” part meaning making, craftsmanship, or even trade. You can easily recreate anything you can dream of using the raw materials you’ve collected – from a simple electrical circuit to the Eiffel Tower. The little coloured blocks – like Lego bricks – stack straight on top of one another. But there’s actually quite of a lot of geological background knowledge behind the game, a game that even adults love playing. You can use emeralds to start gem trading, or use diamonds as tools. Lapis lazuli, used by humans as a dye since the earliest times, can be used in the game to colour wool blue for example. Jan Marc Wargenau, leader of the Mineralogen AG and himself an eager player, says, “The young people know a lot of minerals and stones from the game. Next Monday I want to show them what these minerals look like in real life so they’ll see the game from a completely different perspective in future.” Young people will have the opportunity to marvel at a range of minerals and stones from the game and learn a lot of interesting facts about them.

Monday, 23 February 2015, 4 pm

A long, long time ago – the Big Bang

It’s been a long time since the beginning of our universe 13.8 million years ago, and we human beings make up a twinkling of an eye in comparison. But what must have taken place during the Big Bang so that we human beings could come into existence at all? Young people will learn how the Big Bang came about and what were the far-reaching consequences of this event for the universe. Of course there remain a number of theories for the origins of the universe. Scientists focus their efforts on the first 300,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe was developing especially quickly.

The Mineralogen AG meets at the terra mineralia ticket office in Schloss Freudenstein. For more information, please contact the Info Desk on 03731 394654 or

Monday, 30 March 2015, 4 pm

Just who was Mohs? The hardness scale of Mohs

Prof. Friedrich Mohs, Lithographie von Joseph Kriehuber, 1832

On Monday 30 March at 4pm, Mineralogen AG, the terra mineralia youth club, will be following in the footsteps of the celebrated Professor Friedrich Mohs. Over the course of the afternoon the young people will be discovering the origin of the now world-famous Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Before using a range of examples to take a closer look at the famous hardness scale, the young people will first find out why you need mineral hardness categories at all and just what “hardness” is anyway! Of course, it’s also interesting to see what other hardness tests there are and why Mohs’ idea won out. Where did his idea come from and what else was he doing in Freiberg? Ultimately, he was a student of the world-famous Abraham Gottlob Werner and learnt from him how important the description of the outward features of minerals is to their classification. They had several smart ideas together as to how to sort minerals from all over the world intelligently, and how to order them into a clear and logical system. Anyone who has their own collection at home is sure to look at it with fresh eyes after this meeting.

The Mineralogen AG meet at the terra mineralia ticket office in Schloss Freudenstein. For more information, please contact the Information Desk on 03731 394654 or

Monday, 27 April 2015, 4 pm

Visit to the special exhibition "Flying Jewels II"

Participants in Mineralogen AG will be visiting the "Flying Jewels II" special exhibition to discover the similarities between the colourful worlds of insects and minerals. Colours, forms, specimens, structures and much more connect the animate and inanimate worlds. Our Mineralogen will watch and wonder.

Monday, 18 May 2015, 4 pm

Geothermal energy – power from the ground

On Monday 18 May at 4pm members of the Mineralogen AG, terra mineralia’s youth club will be discovering the mysterious power of geothermal energy. Where does it come from and how can we humans use it today? We’ll be taking a careful look into this during this afternoon.

Every day we use hot water to make our daily lives more comfortable – in central heating or for hot baths. It’s been possible for a couple of years now to get the energy for this straight from the earth’s core. But how is the energy from the depths channelled into heating? Young people will learn about the clever system behind this, and where you can ‘tap’ the earth particularly well. Because, depending on the composition of the earth and type of rock, geothermal heat can either be used more easily, or not at all. How this effect appears in nature is also fascinating. You don’t get them very often, but they’re all the more spectacular for it – geysers. The biggest ever was in New Zealand, rising higher into the sky than the Eiffel Tower. Why geysers happen, and how incredibly hot the water can get, is what young people will learn through experiments in the Forschungsreise.

The Mineralogen AG meets at the terra mineralia ticket office in Schloss Freudenstein. For more information, please contact the Information Desk on 03731 394654 or Sessions cost €2 per child; free with an annual ticket.

Geothermiekraftwerk in Island, Foto: Gretar Ivarsson, wikipedia.

Monday, 29 June 2015, 4 pm

Tsunami – a dangerous force of nature

On Monday, June 29th, at 4 pm, the participants of the Mineralogen AG, the Youth Club of the terra mineralia, will explore giant waves. Because even though these appear to come from the ocean, they are actually caused by geological processes deep within the earth.

Tsunamis are among the natural disasters that can cause enormous amounts of damage and present a tremendous threat to humans. Does that mean that we have to be afraid of them in a place like Sachsen? In the Mineralogen AG, we will discover what takes place in the earth before a tsunami occurs and what exactly happens in the oceans. We will also explore how much power such a giant wave can develop and which were the most famous disasters. After all, it is important to know where tsunamis regularly occur before planning a vacation. Participants will also learn how tsunamis can now be detected early and how coastlines try to protect themselves. Those in the know will be able to enjoy ocean swims worry-free.

The Mineralogen AG will meet at the check-out point of the terra mineralia in Schloss Freudenstein. For further information, please contact the information desk at 03731 394654 or Entrance is 2 Euro per child, or free with an annual pass.

Saturday, 11 July 2015


This year our excursion leads the participants of the Mineralogist AG to Geyer. There are, among others, to discover rock crystals and other gems.

Your child needs the following items in order to search for minerals:

  • Refreshments, and in particular, a lot to drink
  • Good shoes (hiking shoes and if possible wellingtons)
  • Old long trousers
  • A small hammer and protective goggles
  • A hard hat or cycling helmet
  • Whatever packaging material is available, e.g. old newspaper or cellulose packaging
  • Note pad and pencil for labelling their finds
  • Insect repellent and sun protection
  • A sun hat or cap
  • Towel 

Without these items, your child will not be allowed to participate in the excursion. 

We request that you also participate in the excursion in order to support and supervise your child in his/her search. Please inform your child that he/she must precisely follow the instructions of the supervisors. 

The number of participants is limited to 20 children with their parents. The participants should be at least 10 years old. Please register your child at the terra mineralia Info Desk (03731 394654 or by Monday, 6. July 2015.

Excursion details:


10:00 am                        

End: approx. 2 pm, later if necessary
Address:          Tonis Haus der Steine, Steffi und Uwe Thonfeld, Thumer Str. 71, 09468 Geyer

3,40 Euros per person

Monday, 31 August 2015, 4 pm

Plate tectonics – the theory that explains it all

On Monday, 31st August at 4 pm the participants of Mineralogen AG, the youth club of terra mineralia, are going to examine the plate movement of the continents. In the past, scientists who spoke of this theory were laughed at, but today this it has become an integral part of our world view and is world famous.

Today, the so-called ‘plate tectonics‘ and the ‘continental drift’ are part of general knowledge and for many they represent all too well known and boring school subjects. But how did it come about in the first place? What ideas of the earth’s structure preceded this model and why was it so difficult to accept this theory? Participants of the AG initially address this theory in detail and find out more about how plates can move towards each other and why it is likely that this is what actually happens. In doing so, the consequences of such movements for oceans and continents and finally also us as people, is examined. Ultimately we are living on these allegedly “large flounders”. Furthermore, the AG dares to go further and investigate whether alternative ideas exist amongst scientists even today!

„Cracks in Mývatn region (2)“ (Island) von Chmee2, own work, wikipedia.

Monday, 28 September 2015, 4 pm

Rocks – records of geological processes

On Monday 28 September at 4 pm, members of “Mineralogen AG”, terra mineralia’s youth club, will have their second meeting after the summer break. They’ll be taking a look at the topic “Rocks – records of geological processes”.

Our earth contains a vast treasure trove of the most diverse rocks and is pretty much made of them. And every rock has its own story to tell; you can “read” from it how it came into being, where it comes from or from what minerals it is composed. It’s almost like reading a book. But the writing itself is obviously quite different. At the “Mineralogen AG” meeting, our mineralogists will learn how to read the writing. They’ll discover what the rocks we walk over every day can teach us. Even pebbles along the side of the road can contain many millions of years of earth’s history.

Picture on the left: "Stadtroda Sandstein" von I, ArtMechanic,
Picture on the right: Granit, "Logan Rock from below", Jim Champion, own work,

Monday, 26 October 2015, 4 pm

Masterpieces made of stone

Mineralogen AG, the terra mineralia youth club, is meeting next at 4pm on Monday 26 October. This time they’ll be learning how to recognise “masterpieces made of stone”.

Minerals and rocks make up mankind’s oldest tools and building materials. The Ancient Egyptians were already using rocks to build huge structures like the pyramids and the sphinxes. The Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, or the Moais on Easter Island often present riddles for scientists. Young mineralogists will go on a journey to every continent to learn which rocks were used and what minerals lie behind them. And Nature produces its own impressive forms, too, as demonstrated by the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, or Ayers Rock in Australia.

The Mineralogen AG meet at the terra mineralia ticket office in Schloss Freudenstein. For more information, please contact the Information Desk on 03731 394654 or

Monday, 30 November 2015, 4 pm

The frozen wasteland of Antarctica

Mineralogen AG, terra mineralia’s youth club, will be meeting on Monday 30 November at 4pm. Participants will be visiting a wasteland of ice and snow – the cold deserts of the Antarctic.

The Antarctic is a continent that is even larger than Europe, but it was only discovered in 1820. This is where the South Pole is. Many people imagine that the Antarctic is made only from ice and snow, but there are a whole range of geologically interesting things to discover here – active volcanoes, a lake under the ice, glaciers, huge mountains and even a number of meteorites. Of course, there are also rocks and minerals to be found. The first mineral deposits have even been discovered now. At the next meeting of the Mineralogen AG in terra mineralia, we’ll be looking at the geological background to this strange and harsh world and finding out how this frosty continent was able to come into being.

The Mineralogen AG meets at the terra mineralia ticket office in Schloss Freudenstein. For more information, please contact the Info Desk on 03731 394654 or

Monday, 14 December 2015, 4 pm

Treasure chamber earth – raw materials from the earth

On Monday 14 December at 4pm, Mineralogen AG, terra mineralia’s youth club, will be meeting for their Christmas party. They won’t only be partying; they’ll also be “investigating”. So the topic for this last meeting of the year is earth’s treasure chamber and its natural resources.

Something very special awaits the young mineralogists. We’ll be taking a journey into the earth’s treasure chamber. Here we’ll be discovering where our natural resources come from and what minerals are indispensable for our everyday lives. What are the Christmas presents that we’ll be receiving made of? How much geology is contained in Lego and More? What minerals are indispensable for smartphones or laptops? Do we even need natural mineral resources for printing books? It’s going to be at least as exciting as opening your presents. Interested parents are also warmly invited to our Christmas party.