The Stone Pavilion Project

The Stone Pavilion

UConn's Hidden Treasure

Hidden Gem

Photo of pavilion with rock slabs.
The stone pavilion is nearly hidden among the trees and large rock slabs in the northeastern part of the  University of Connecticut's main campus, even when the leaves are gone.

Hiding in Plain Sight

The stone pavilion is a tiny, hexagonal building on the main campus of the University of Connecticut that is built of stones from every Connecticut town. Within it is an exhibit of beautiful specimen stones from every U.S. state.   Because this gem of a building has no official name, sign, map label, or reference document, it's been a mystery hiding in plain sight for nearly a century.

Student Finds Pavilion.
This UConn student was shocked to see the details inside, one of which is the shocked stone below.
Connecticut's specimen stone.
Within the pavilion is an exhibit of 50 specimen stones, one from each U.S. state.  Connecticut's stone, #6 above,  is a red sandstone that was shattered into rubble by seismic movements before the pore paces were filled by minerals precipitating from geothermal fluids. This specimen comes from New England's deepest underground mine.

Project Purpose

The Stone Pavilion Project aims to  enhance the visibility, enjoyment, and educational utility of this unique and iconic structure.  Though it's been available for public viewing since 1937, and though it's been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989, the cultural significance of the building has been largely forgotten, and the educational significance of its stone collections have-never been publicly available.  By providing this information, we are re-dedicating an important memorial  to UConn history and are re-purposing an overlooked curiosity into an open-air, natural history museum.  Fun activities, virtual tours, story maps, print brochures, video games, and educational resources are all in the works.

Panel of Closups.
Panel closeup photographs of six specimen stones showing their variety and beauty. From top left to lower right are:  Pike's Peak granite from Colorado; pure beach sandstone from Tennessee; green-black serpentine from Maryland; bubbly lava flows from California, extinct fossils in lime mud from Kentucky; and hematite stained petrified wood from Arizona.


The Department of Earth Sciences  invites you to walk through one of the pavilion's gateway arches for a spontaneous visit, or one planned through student activities, course assignments, and campus tours.  Let this website be your guide.   Socially, the building is an affirming example of an individual contributing to the public good.  Politically, it commemorates those who believed that the dream of a national university in Storrs was possible.   Artistically, its stones are beautiful works of natural art.  Environmentally, it reveals tangible evidence of climate change, extinct ecosystems, and natural resources.  We also invite your ideas and collaborations to help enhance public use of this hidden treasure.

Arhway Southeast.
Entrance archway is one of three on the south side. Flagstone pathway leads down the ridge to the crosswalk at Swan Lake.

Ancient Worlds

In the pavilion are clues to: sand dunes larger than those of today's Sahara Desert;  lava lakes massive enough to fill Long Island Sound; glacial ice powerful enough to excavate the Great Lakes and mantle New England with broken stones;  coral reefs built by tropical marine animals before Earth's first mass extinction;  sandy beaches shoaling over a coastal plain much larger than those of today; and much more. Click here to learn more about unlocking the doors to those Ancient Worlds.

Stone Wall Initiative Image.
Image from home page of the Stone Wall Initiative. The interior and exterior walls of the Stone Pavilion are part of the larger phenomenon of New England's historic stone walls.  This photo is from central Vermont.


The Stone Pavilion project was launched in summer 2021 by geologist Robert M. Thorson of UConn's Department of Earth Sciences and photographer Peter Morenus of UConn Communications. Their original goal -- document the exhibit wall of specimen stones,-- overlapped with those of UConn's Stone Wall Initiative within the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History.   We reached out to various  administrative offices and departments internal to UConn, and more broadly with town, state, and national organizations.  Former state geologist Margaret Thomas of the Connecticut Geological and Natural History Survey (CGNHS) helped us contact all 50 U.S. state geological surveys for assistance in identifying the specimens.  Within the Department of Earth Sciences, Clay Tabor co-designed this website and Ben Chilson-Parks helped identify the specimens. Additional collaborations are underway. Learn more about our future plans by linking to Collaborations.

Photo of Exterior Stone.
Some of the stones from Connecticut on the exterior of the pavilion are as beautiful as any inside. Here is glacially milled granitic boulder with unusual patterns of color and texture. Note how lichens are colonizing the surface and the gap where stone meets mortar.


The land on which the pavilion stands is the territory of the Mohegan and Nipmuc Peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We thank them for their strength and resilience in protecting this land, and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example.



  • Robert M. Thorson, Professor of Earth Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Connecticut.
  • Email:
  • Phone: Arrange by Email.
  • Hard-copy Mail: Department of Earth Sciences, Unit 1045, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1045.
  • Office: 227 Beach Hall, University of Connecticut Storrs.

Finding It

Shaded Pavilion.
Finding the pavilion is half the fun because its deeply shaded by the tree canopy and no larger than some of the nearby boulders. 

Location - The Blue Dot

The Stone Pavilion overlooks North Eagleville Road at a point just west of the Storrs Congregational Church and State Highway 195 (Husky Way).  Its GSP coordinates are 48.8116 North, 72.2516 West. As of 11.23.22, the pavilion is missing from Google Maps.

On UConn's most recent official map, show below, the pavilion is a tiny, blue, unlabeled, dot just above the word "Road."  Based on size and shape, it's UConn's smallest building and its only hexagon.  All other buildings have labels, including the small planetarium.

Map of UConn.
The Stone Pavilion is located by UConn's official map as a tiny blue hexagon, but it is neither named nor linked to any description, leaving it a largely unknown piece of the scenery. The previous official map from 2013 also shows the location but no label.

Seeing the Pavilion

The pavilion is barely visible from a distance, even when the trees are bare of leaves.

North Eagleville Road.
Northeastern corner of UConn's main campus.  The pavilion is barely visible beneath the white church steeple and above the light-gray boulder crowding the sidewalk. Storrs Congregational Church is to the left. Swan Lake and the Austin Building are to the right.

Access and Parking

Pedestrian access is via a stairway built of quarried stone that begins directly above a well-marked crosswalk at the eastern end of Swan Lake about 500 feet west of the stoplights at Highway 195.  Non-ambulatory visitors can access the site from the rear via a paved parking lot behind the Church.  Visitors can park in the North Garage and walk east to the site along North Eagleville Road.

Orthophoto of Pavilion Location.
The gray slate roof of the pavilion is barely visible from above as a small hexagon directly north of the black car on the road. Church steeple is visible to right. Swan Lake is to lower left. The large boulder referred to above is the one crowding the sidewalk.


Image of Stonehenge.
Stonehenge, on the Salisbury Plain in the UK, offers a well- known  example of geoheritage.  Through geological investigations, we've learned that its stones were quarried in Wales where they were originally erected before being disassembled and re-assembled in England.  Photo from Creative Commons.


The phrase "cultural heritage" is widely understood, referring to the places, people, stories, and materials of the past that help us understand who we are.    "Geoheritage" is the subset of cultural heritage referring to the earthly materials and landscapes that help us understand who we are.  Two examples of geology shaping culture include: Siccar Point on the Scottish coast  where the discovery of deep time by James Hutton in the 1780s helped usher in the European Enlightenment; and a stratum at Gubbio, Italy where the cosmic cause of dinosaur mass extinction was revealed in the 1980s, with profound implications for the human future.  These are but two of the world's 100 Geoheritage Sites recently compiled by the  International Union of Geological Sciences.

More locally, the 1937 construction of the Stone Pavilion with state and national stones symbolized simultaneous plans to build a truly national university from a state college with agrarian roots.

Photo of Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is an internationally recognized geoheritage site. The main draw for tourism is the physical rock landscape and the processes by which it was shaped.  The same is true at a lesser scale for the stone pavilion, which welds an appreciation of rock to human emotion. Photo of Mather Point by John Burcham, New York Times.

The Geological Society of America defines Geoheritage, as a "generic but descriptive term applied to sites or areas of geological features with significant scientific, educational, cultural, and/or aesthetic value." The Stone Pavilion qualifies. One student of Peruvian descent dubbed it a mini-Machu Picchu. Both are stone structures perched bedrock ridges climbed by quarried walkways.  Link to the society's Position Paper #20.

Photo of exterior stone.
Stone from exterior of pavilion collected from some Connecticut town. Note the diversity in shape and composition of the surrounding stones.


In the biological sciences, the term biodiversity is widely understood.  Its counterpart in the geosciences is geodiversity, which involves an enhanced appreciation of the earthly materials and places that give rise to biodiversity, and which make modern life possible. One good example of geodiversity is your cell phone or the electronic communication device you're using to visit this website.  Within that device a dozens of minerals mined and processed to make modern life possible.  Within the Stone Pavilion are earlier examples of the diverse material resources that were used to build the modern world, from quarried dimension stone to ore minerals. .

Photo Newgate Prison
Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine is a good example of a state geoheritage site, though currently not recognized as such.  UConn's Stone Pavilion is another.  Photo from Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

State and National Registers

We are already exploring nomination of the Stone Pavilion to state and national registers of significant places.

To learn more about the geoheritage of the pavilion, link to Geoheritage.

Campus Life

UConn entry sign.
Southerly view of UConn's entry sign on the right side of Highway 195 (Husky Way) at the high point before descending into campus.

A New Destination

Students and campus visitors are often looking for in-person places to go and fun things to do.  Destinations such as the Dairy Bar, Horsebarn Hill, Mirror Lake, and the Jonathan statue are well known.  When better known, we expect the Stone Pavilion to join this short list. It's conveniently located, always open, free of charge,  very user-friendly, and  a physical place  you can enter, feel, smell, and touch.  Why not go there, take a selfie, and share it with your friend on social media?

Fun Activities

The 50 specimen stones offers countless opportunities for creating games and puzzles and rhymes based on the state stones.  It's easy to imagine crossword puzzles, variations of bingo, scavenger hunts, and sorting games based on rock type or location.  If you create one, please let us know and we will likely post it on this site.

Crossword Puzzle.
Imagine a crossword puzzle with clues based on stone specimens. For example, "state with oldest stone" or "state whose stone was shattered by earthquakes."

Catching the Stone Vibe

FEELING HIGH?  Did you know that the rock source for the polished pink slab in the upper left of the photo below holds up Colorado's highest peak, named after the explorer Zebulon Pike?   FEELING SPOOKED?  The gray stone in lower left comes from our nations's deepest granite quarry in Barre, Vermont.  It's likely that more U.S. gravestones are built from this rock than any other.  FEELING RICH?  The dark rock to the right is silver ore from the wild west of Montana  FEELING OLD? The shiny wet rock right of center is a hundred million times older than you are. FEELING STRESSED?  The stone from Connecticut in the upper right was literally crushed by tectonic pressure. Compared to what it experienced, we are relaxed.

Exhibit Wall.
Each of these pieces of UConn has a story to tell that can be connected to a human emotions.

Piece of Home

UConn students come from all 50 of the United States. First-year students naturally experience tinges of homesickness for where they're from. One remedy is to visit the Stone Pavilion. Once there, you can find your home state on the brass plaque, use its number to find and see an actual piece of your home state, and hopefully feel its vibe. Alternatively, you can use the map of the exhibit wall below to locate your state visually.  To learn more about your state's stone, link to Piece of Home. There you will find photographs, maps, links, and descriptions.

Map of stones on Exhibit Wall.
Use this map of the exhibit wall to locate your state stone. They are arranged alphabetically from top left to bottom right. Hawaii and Alaska were added later as a sixth row of 2 stones, one in each corner. Conspicuous gap for rows 2 and 3 in exact center is where a plaque was installed and later removed. Drill hole spacings in this gap match those of the states plaque. 

Strength in Diversity

America's strength lies in the diversity of its natural resources, landscapes, and people. This pavilion illustrates that our campus, state, and country are beautiful aggregates of very different things.

History & Culture

Dedication Ceremony.
Photo of dedication ceremony attended by thousands taken on May 16, 1937 and published by the Hartford Courant the following day. Shown left to right are Frank H. Peet of Kent, Master of the Connecticut Grange and Louis J. Taber of Columbus, Ohio, Master of the National Grange. Not pictured, but likely present, was Albert P. Marsh, the farmer from New Britain who donated the stones to initiate this project in 1934, and Fritz Steinmeyer, the mason who reportedly supervised construction.

Gift to the Future

UConn's  Stone Pavilion was built with stones gifted in 1937 by the Connecticut State Grange to what was then Connecticut State College, the immediate predecessor of the University of Connecticut. The total cost of its construction was $750.  Dedicated to "America's youth," this "Tribute to Agriculture" memorialized the historic, political, and economic ties between agriculture and education at the local, state, and national level. Without the support of the state chapter of the nation's most powerful agricultural organization, tiny Storrs Agricultural School could not have grown, in steps, into a state agricultural college, a U.S. land-grant institution, a state college, and a national university.  UConn has since become an international university.

Dedication Ceremony

On Sunday, May 17, 1937, residents across the state opened their morning newspaper, the Hartford Courant, to read a front-page story about a festive dedication ceremony for a small hexagonal building. To read that story, link to these digital scans of Courant Front Page and Courant Page 2 for May 17, 1937. The other stories and advertisements published that day provide a time capsule of contemporary culture.

Up to 3,000 students, politicians, residents, and grangers gathered for a picnic on UConn's lawns as part of the Ninth Annual Grange Sunday. Background music was provided by a concert band and carillon concert from the church bells. Attendees witnessed college president Albert Jorgensen accept the pavilion as a gift of stones from Master of the National Grange, Louis Taber, of Columbus, Ohio.  Pending verification, construction was supervised by Freidrich (Fritz) Steinmeyer, a Storrs resident, farmer, stonemason, and employee of Connecticut State College.  Learn more about about this sprawling "block party"by linking to Dedication Ceremony.

UConn's most Pivotal Year in its most Pivotal Decade

UConn's story as an institution began in 1880 with a gift of land by Charles and Augustus Storrs to found the Storrs Agricultural School, which opened one year later with 13 male students.  The fertile glacial soils of their farm had supported the Storrs family since 1698, when Samuel Storrs pioneered what had been indigenous land.  It's quite likely that at least one of the stones turned up by their farm activities ended up in the pavilion. Learn more about UConn's back-story.

Postscard of UConn in the 1930s?.
Postcard dating from the time of the Stone Pavilion construction.  Its caption reads: "Whitney Hall and Church at Connecticut Agricultural College, Storrs, Conn." UConn Archive photo.

The gathering of the stones, their assembly into a building, and the early appreciation of this powerful symbol, spanned the most pivotal decade of UConn history.  In the decade's early years,  a generous farmer named Albert P. Marsh of New Britain began gathering the specimen stones during national road trips. In 1933, what had been Connecticut Agricultural College became Connecticut State College. In 1934, Marsh generously donated his collection to the grange to construct a memorial. The year 1937 was arguably the most momentous in the history of the UConn.

In January 1937, four months before the ceremony Albert Jorgensen, president of what was then Connecticut State College, proposed a three-year,  three-million-dollar building program that, in cost, exceeded the sum total spent during the institution's history. A dirt-road college would become paved road university with nearly five miles of paved walkways and roads.  Deals were signed for many new buildings and athletic facilities, including the campus's signature building Wilbur Cross Library, a new power plant with steam lines, and concrete sidewalks replacing muddy paths.  Without this vision, a bill introduced later that year into the state General Assembly to create an entirely separate university elsewhere in the state may have succeeded. Quoting Bruce Stave's official history, that's when "Representative Edward D.Seger of Colchester introduced a bill in the General Assembly to establish a university in the state of Connecticut....With an appropriation of five million dollars, it would have established an entirely new institution of land, buildings, and staff" somewhere else.  Though tabled in the 1937 session, the bill was reintroduced in 1939 with the location to be in Storrs, "passing both houses without dissent." In a separate close call, that bill initially called for the official name of the university to be Connecticut State University, rather than the University of Connecticut. The latter name was adopted during the committee hearings.

The decision by the state to build its public flagship university in Storrs would almost certainly not have happened without president Jorgensen's strong political connections to agriculture (now environment).

In both place and time, the public gifting of the Stone Pavilion from the Connecticut State Grange to what was then Connecticut State College on May 16, 1937, symbolizes this transition more powerfully than any other UConn building, monument, or structure.  President Jorgensen, a former farmer, graciously accepted the gift in a ceremony presided over by Louis J. Tabor, Master of the National Grange, and attended by over two thousand people.   Two years later, on July 1, 1939, UConn finally became UConn.

Painting of Wilbur Cross with Stone Pavilion to Scale?.
Painting of Wilbur Cross Library, with photo of Stone Pavilion to the same scale pasted to the arched window of the South Reading Room. The whole pavilion is roughly the size of the cupola. Both buildings were and built as part of the same epoch of growth, the pavilion memorializing its agricultural heritage, and the Wilbur Cross Library the expansion into a university." UConn Archive painting credit to KNOWOL.

Moving on to Other Things

By the fall of 1937, the dedication party for the pavilion was over and largely forgotten.  By 1938, attention was focused on construction elsewhere.  In September that year, New England's most destructive hurricane diverted attention toward recovery.  1939 saw the final year of the U.S. Great Depression, the opening of the Wilbur Cross Library, and a new university broadening its mission beyond agriculture for programming priority.  The proliferation of automobiles and rising personal incomes had helped shift New England culture away from rural agriculture toward urbanization, industrialization, tourism, and greater regional mobility. As farms went bankrupt, the strength and membership of the Grange declined.

Birds nest.
By 2021, the pavilion was so disused that birds were nesting within easy reach. Removal of this empty nest was part of the initial cleanup for this project..

As the relative importance of agriculture in New England waned, the trees and brush surrounding the pavilion deepened the shade. The exterior stones became tarnished and lichen-covered to more closely resemble the adjacent rock slabs.  In 1997, staff writer Mark Roy called attention to the pavilion in a story for the UConn Advance, the print predecessor of online UConn Today.  When reprinted in 2012, Roy's story rekindled the attention of professor Robert Thorson, who had long been using the site for geology field trips.  To broaden awareness, in 2016 he published the location of the pavilion as part of an online "Interactive Geological Tour" that accompanied an article in UConn Magazine titled Rock On that featured UConn's historic stone walls and agricultural origins.

When we initiated this project in 2021, paint was peeling from the pavilion's protective grate, we had to cut and rekey the lock, birds were nesting at eye-level inside, and the the stones were being coated with algae, soot, lichens, pollen, dust, and microbial films. Identifying and photographing the stones required that we scrub them with a wire brush soaked with detergent and water. Heavy algal stains required bleach. Learn more by linking to Forgetting the Pavilion.

A Proper Name

When Mark Roy published his 1997 article, he wrote that the building "has been referred to over the years as 'the stone shelter,' 'the stone pavilion,' and – in recent years – 'the little stone house.'"  Our project carefully: examined all naming precedents from archival research; did a word-by-word analysis of the original 1937 newspaper articles; and scrutinized the names used in UConn's official 1988 nomination of the structure to the National Register of Historic Places as part of its historic district. That nomination used the terms "Outdoor Pavilion" and "Grange Shelter Pavilion." We adopt the name "Stone Pavilion" for this project because the final noun for National Register nomination is "pavilion," and because the word "stone" is both the simplest, most consistently used, and most descriptive adjective of all previous mentions. Though the Grange would have likely been known to every student in the 1930s, very few of our more urban and international students know of that organization today, weakening its use as a modern adjective. Learn more about our name choice by linking to the National Register nomination and to our Document-by-Document Chronology.

Early UConn Agriiculture.
Photo from UConn archive predating 1933 of students at Connecticut Agricultural College. Note that their bus was pulled by horses. It brought students up from the nearest train station at Eagleville.

Back to the Future

Agriculture is experiencing a cultural resurgence as our food production system shifts away from intensive industrial techniques to more locally sourced, less polluting, and more sustainable methods. This shift, called regenerative agriculture, coincides with our urgent needs to: sequester more carbon in soils; help mitigate climate change; extend animal rights; and minimize farm pollution.  This transition has captured the attention and hopes of the rising generation of college students, the "Youth" to whom the pavilion was dedicated.  UConn's stone pavilion can symbolize and energize the future promise of regenerative agriculture.

Photo Spring Valley Farm UCONN
Spring Valley Farm at UConn is training a new generation of farmers. Credit to Daily Campus, Feb 11, 2019 by Rachel Grella.

The story of the pavilion can also help UConn students and visitors feel more "grounded" to the earthly roots of our institution in human time, and  to the earthly roots our our national landscapes in deep time.

Earth Science

The Stone Pavilion and Boulder.
The Stone Pavilion is an open-air museum exhibit no larger than one of the nearby colossal glacial boulders.

Natural History Museum

Except for the wood framing of its slate roof, the Stone Pavilion is composed entirely of stone and concrete mortar. It rests on a foundation of quarried stones that rests on a bedrock ridge.  High up in the shade of the upper left corner of the northwestern segment of the interior wall is a bronze plaque identifying which state each numbered specimen stone comes from. Beyond this one-to-one linkage --for example, Alabama 1, Arizona 2, Hawaii 50, etc.-- there has never been, to our knowledge, any other information publicly available about the stones except for anecdotal comments from a 1937 newspaper article that can't be traced to any source document and which was written by an anonymous reporter.  Many of the article's unsourced statements were wrong.  For the first time since 1937, detailed information about the specimens is now available using the dropdown menu below.

Map of Exhibit Wall.
Map of the 50 state specimens superimposed over a photograph taken from the front. The Northwest, North, and Northeast segments of the exhibit wall and their junctions with the stone floor and the concrete ceiling are outlined in blue. The bronze plaque to upper left is dimly lit except early morning and identifies the number of a state in alphabetical order to a number on a bronze pin drilled into the matching stone. The empty square is the size of the plaque, suggesting that one may have gone missing. This interpretation is supported by the fact that there are drill holes in the stones in the wall that form a perfect square the same size as the screws on the existing plaque. 

Five Galleries

By providing science-based labels, descriptions, and classifications, the two stone collections become a natural history exhibit organized across five different themes. Each theme can be conceived as an exhibit gallery that can be explored using this website, whether at the site or remotely.

----- Gallery #1 - State-By-State -- Visit any state page to see four illustrations for each stone in the exhibit: a photo of the specimen stone, a closeup of a portion of the stone, an outline map showing the stone's state location, and a thumbnail geological map of state.  Adjacent to these images are descriptions, identifications, interpretations, conclusions for geoheritage, and links to further resources.  Most of this information is technical at this stage. The state geological maps for each state are from the U.S. Geological Survey’s collection of Geological Maps from its Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data, an interactive website that allows you to seamlessly explore state, regional, and national geology. Click the menu in the upper left and begin.  Link here to learn more about the group of  Specimen Stones as a collection. Any state can be selected from the drop-down menu above.

----- Gallery #2 - One Earth  -- unifies the local bedrock, the state collection dominated by fieldstones, and the national collection of specimen stones.   To learn more, link to One Earth.

----- Gallery #3 - Ancient Worlds  -- takes you on a trip to the exotic environments and changed climates of the past.   To learn more, link to Ancient Worlds.

----- Gallery #4 - Time Machine -- narrates the story of the U.S. landscape by arranging the specimen stones in chronological order. To learn more, link to Time Machine.

----- Gallery #5 - Natural Resources explains how these stones provide mineral, energy, and aesthetic resources. To learn more, link to Natural Resources.

As the Stone Pavilion Project continues, these sections will be expanded into other media such as documentary videos, animations, and story boards, etc.

Work in Progress

At present, everything about this project is a work in progress. The only gallery close to completion is State by State, which is the foundation on which the other four depend. The other galleries are little more than lists at this stage.

The methods for documenting and interpreting the specimens are described at the link Documentation and Quality Control .   The link Explanation of State Stones describes how this information is organized and presented to the viewer.  Given the many uncertainties, our interpretations must be considered preliminary until further information becomes available.  If you notice an error, or have something to add, please contact Robert Thorson at y9ur convenience. Building this information is a collaborative effort that already involves the staff of most of the state geological surveys.


UConn's Northeast.
View to the southwest of the UConn's campus in Storrs. One of its least-appreciated, buildings is the Stone Pavilion, which is hidden from sight in the trees to the right of the Storrs church. UConn's Department of Earth Sciences is in Beach Hall, directly behind the flags of the Great Lawn. There, you will find more materials on exhibit.

Construction of this Education portion of the website has only just begun. We expect that it will slowly incorporate a variety of in-person and online educational materials for Earth Science at all levels. We envision a variety of curriculum modules, lesson plans, videos, field trips, and assignments based on the national collection of 50 specimen stones, available online.

College and University

The initial impetus for this project in 2016 was to enhance an in-person field trip stop for students in UConn's introductory Earth Science courses: ERTH 1050-1051-1052 - Earth's Dynamic Environment.  These field trip visits continue today, with for nearly a thousand students visiting them per year.  Future linkages between the pavilion and the syllabi for various ERTH courses provide opportunities for active learning and local engagement beyond the classroom experiences.  Online materials for the pavilion also enrich our non-Storrs offerings at the regional campuses and through the Early College Experience (ECE) program.

UConn Hartford.
UConn Hartford is one of the four growing regional campuses where the Department of Earth Sciences is offering its courses. One of the specimen stones from the pavilion in Storrs, a sandy limestone from Indiana, is a plausible source for the dimension stone used for this building. Photo by Peter Morenus.

UConn's new Common Curriculum, now in the implementation stage, requires that all students enroll in courses from six Topics of Inquiry.   The Stone Pavilion provides opportunities to engage with all six. Examples of such opportunities are available at the link Learn More - Education.

K-12 and Preschool

Stock Photo of Elementary School Class.
Stock photo of elementary school classroom from Dreamstime.

In Connecticut, Earth Science is offered in late Middle School and early High School, most often as components of more general science courses.  The current playbook for school curricula is based on The National Research Council's Next Generation Science Standards, which require significant geological content.  The specimen stones of the pavilion link to content in all 12 Core Standards, with learning outcomes specified for grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.

The pavilion is within easy reach of dozens of elementary and middle schools in eastern Connecticut. The local (regional) public high school, E.O. Smith, is within easy walking distance. No permission is needed to visit.

Owing to its novelty and cuteness factor, the Stone Pavilion provides a wonderful opportunity for field trips and activities for kids of all ages, either within school curricula or with parent activities.

UConn ECE faculty at pavilion.
The stone pavilion is being incorporated into Connecticut's high school education through the work of its ECE (Early College Experience) instructors, in which UConn courses are taught in high schools.

Construction of this Education portion of the website has only just begun. We expect that it will slowly incorporate a variety of in-person and online educational materials for Earth Science at all levels. We envision a variety of curriculum modules, lesson plans, videos, field trips, and assignments based on the national collection of 50 specimen stones, available online.

All Ages

Ad hoc tours of the Stone Pavilion with groups of interested adults have proven very successful.  Over time, we will develop materials to facilitate these activities, including a print brochure.

UConn, Mansfield, and surrounding towns have robust adult education programs that are benefiting from having a walkable place linked to learning opportunities.

To learn more about educational plans for the stone pavilion, link to Learn More Education.