BANGOR, Maine — A group of area youth could barely hold back their excitement as they panned for “gold” at the Discovery Museum on Saturday as part of Family Geography Day.
The youngsters gathered around a small blue plastic pool filled with sand. They used ladles and square screens to find the hidden gemstones, white “diamond” crystals, coins, shark teeth and rocks painted to look like gold.
“You get a little bit of gold because the paint has gold in it,” one youngster explained to another while showing a handful of the painted rocks.
Trudi Plummer, a Discovery Museum employee, said the children really treasure what they find.
“We tell them it’s not real gold, but they’re still excited about it,” she said.
Morgana Vick, 9, came to the event with Adam Stetson, 8, and his mom, Sue Stetson, who are all from Milo. Morgana said she enjoyed playing on the museum’s new cargo ship, which is a new exhibit on the second floor.
“We pretended we were on the Titanic, except it didn’t sink,” she said.
The two youngsters arrived early so they could spend a couple of hours on the boat, and they also made jewelry, ate international food, made posters and did the massive United States puzzle on Saturday.
“They go here a lot,” Sue Stetson said.
Family Geography Day included a ton of activities to transport children and their families around the globe, said Andrea Stark, executive director. The event is sponsored in part by the Maine Geographic Alliance and Newspapers in Education and is held twice annually, she said.
“The museum is a magnet for families and a great place to expose children and adults to other cultures and geography,” Stark said. “It’s another way we’re trying to be a part of the community.”