Freedom Hill Fifth Graders Hear from Smithsonian Geologist

School News
October 22, 2020

Dr. Wise on a video call with studentsLisa Bliss’s fifth graders at Freedom Hill Elementary heard from Dr. Mike Wise, a geologist from the Smithsonian Institution, who shared his love for science and geology. Wise is a featured geologist in the JASON Project curriculum “Tectonic Fury.” Landforms is part of the fifth grade science curriculum where students learn about the basic layers of the Earth, their characteristics, and beyond. Wise’s expertise is evidenced through his knowledge of rocks and minerals and the stories he tells to engage students. His particular focus of study is pegmatites. He engaged students by sharing a piece of muscovite from Brazil. This particular mineral is able to be bent and the layers are very thin. He spent time answering questions and sharing his love for science. Bliss’s students are now inspired to create their own rock collections and explore their natural surroundings. When visiting the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., stop by the Rocks and Minerals hall; Wise played an integral part in developing the exhibit. Contact news liaison Tim Scesney at or Lisa Bliss at