Over the years, The Shelly Company has invited students to visit the quarry to take tours. Because of coronavirus, The Shelly Company is now offering virtual tours. (Photos submitted)
Over the years, The Shelly Company has invited students to visit the quarry to take tours. Because of coronavirus, The Shelly Company is now offering virtual tours. (Photos submitted)

VAN WERT COUNTY – The Shelly Company has welcomed students into their Stoneco quarries and visited classrooms as part of its construction materials education program for more than a decade. In response to COVID-19, the company has temporarily paused these activities until it is safe to restart these important community programs.

“Sadly, this year’s school groups would have been without first-hand experience of our operations and we just couldn’t let that happen,” said Robin Kraner, quality control technician and facilitator of many Shelly school tours and classroom presentations at the company’s Stoneco quarries in Northwest Ohio.

Kraner assembled a team of her coworkers to develop a “virtual tour” of Shelly operations. The tour, available on the company’s website, consists of a Google Slides presentation, videos, printable activities and other information specifically prepared to help students in grades two through six learn about the construction materials industry. The information is geared toward geology, mining methods, and the variety of uses for minerals in our everyday lives. Students will learn the steps necessary to mine rock, see a video of rock blasted from quarry walls and gain a better understanding of the way rock is studied from geologist Michelle Kronberg.

“Educational tours and classroom presentations help the future workforce understand the vital role our products play in building and sustaining the infrastructure of the communities we serve,” said Lyle Snyder, senior vice president and coordinator of The Shelly Company’s Rocks Build Our World elementary education program. “I’m hopeful that the materials we’ve shared on our website will allow this message to reach students we are unable to teach in person this year.”

The Shelly Company encourages teachers and parents to visit shellyco.com/sustainability/education to access the virtual tour. Questions or feedback can be sent to Robin Kraner at RKraner@shellyco.com.