Cal State Parks Color Logo PNGThis rare and priceless collection of mineral specimens from world-wide sources is the official California State collection of gems and minerals.  The Museum provides educational programs about mineral specimens, geologic processes, and the history of mining throughout California.  Visitors of any age and experience are welcome.  During the school year, we accommodate students of all grade levels, and can tailor the presentation to the group’s experience and needs.

There are formal and informal study options.  We cover:

  • Rock Cycle
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Gold Rush History
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Geology
  • Natural Resources
  • Modern Mining
  • Importance of Rocks and Minerals

Invitation to Teachers

Randy Bolt, the California State Park Guide and Volunteer Coordinator, provides this introduction to teachers:

“All of our educational programs are correlated to the state curriculum standards in science and social studies. The fantastic California State gem and mineral collection always brings excitement to students and adults alike. The underground mine tour, simulating 1850’s hard rock mining, is a perennial favorite that the students will not soon forget. Our interactive programs feature ‘hands on’ examination of rock and mineral samples, as well as paper activities, to help the students learn as they explore the exhibits. The fourth and sixth grade curriculum most closely matches our Museum themes. Many teachers at these grade levels give us excellent feedback on our tours and many have made us a standard part of their annual curriculum.”

A copy of our educational program descriptions is linked here.

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday each week. April and May are our busiest months so we encourage class visits during the fall or winter. The fee for guided tours is $30 per class (up to 35 students and Teacher).  Adult chaperones are $4.00 each. Payment can be made upon arrival.

Along with our Museum, many school classes also visit the Mariposa Museum and History Center, which is only 2 miles away.  In addition to mining, they also have exhibits on California pioneer life and local Indian cultures.  Visiting both Museums makes a full and exciting day of science and history in the historic mother lode region.

To book a tour, or to just find out more about what the museum offers, call (209) 742-7625.

Teachers receive a 15% discount on educational materials purchased in the museum gift shop .