The Geotech Center at Sterling Hill consists of five large rooms in the lower level of the old (1916) ore-processing mill.
At one time this mill stood seven stories tall, but the upper levels were razed in 1961 and the concrete foundation rooms buried under sand when the mill was no longer needed by the New Jersey Zinc Company. These rooms were excavated, cleaned, and rehabilitated in the early 1990s, providing the museum with an extra 4,600 square feet of exhibit and meeting space.
Two of the five rooms in the Geotech Center are occupied by the Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescence. Two others are filled with tables and chairs to serve as meeting places for lectures, seminars, banquets, and other special events. The fifth room contains various educational displays, notably a sequence of interactive exhibits on the properties of minerals.
Here visitors will see how current flowing through a chunk of native copper will cause a light bulb to glow, how striking a crystal of tourmaline with a hammer will produce electricity, and how exposure to ultraviolet light will cause the daylight color of sodalite to change from gray to deep raspberry red.
Also on hand are two "special" rock specimens that we invite participants to study and touch. We will not reveal their identity here, but we will tell you this: they usually elicit a spirited response when visitors find out what they are.