May the Quartz Be With You

  • 17 Feb 2016
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Maryland Naturalist Center - 6908 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD 21206


Registration is closed


Humans have used quartz since prehistoric times and continue to the present.  We use its crystal structure, fracture, piezoelectric energy, and asterism in present day technology.

During this presentation, Tom Piscitelli will consider:  How did quartz help win WWI and WWII?  How can you make music with quartz?  How does quartz keep your watches and clocks ticking?  Why is quartz at the heart of your radio, TV, and computer?  How can it make you a star and keep you healthy?

You'll examine examples of quartz crystals from two famous major localities:  Herkimer, NY and Mt. Ida, Arkansas and discover how and when these crystals formed.  You'll also see geodes from Dugway, Utah and Oregon thunder-eggs, and learn how they were formed.

Tom will display many forms of quartz:  chalcedony, flint, chert, jasper, agate, onyx, silicified or agatized petrified wood, opal, and obsidian. You'll see some surprisingly unique quartz forms.

Cost: $10.  Prepay only at

This session will be facilitated by Tom Piscitelli. Tom is a volunteer, so your money will go directly to support the programs, the nature collections, and the building that make this kind of nature education possible. 

Leader: Tom Piscitelli is an avid rock, mineral, and fossil collectors. As a member of fossil and mineral clubs in Maryland and Delaware, he has collected on club field trips and has traveled across the United States collecting at famous sites. He has presented for the Natural History Society of Maryland, to 4th and 5th graders in Baltimore and Harford Counties, and at Senior Centers in Baltimore County.