Mesa Math and Science Building
Tucked away in Mesa community college’s Math and Science building you will find three sedimentary walls as well as terrazzo strips. There are three sedimentary walls, two of which incorporated local rock. For one of the walls, Donald Barrie a geology professor at Mesa collected actual samples of ten different local rock units and had Penick embed these materials into the wall.
On another wall, rock samples from 14 local geologic units were embedded into the wall. Barrie wrote that, “These walls will dramatically improve the quality of geoscience education at Mesa College. Instead of just telling the students about local rock units, or even just showing them photos, Mesa College geology instructors can now show students realistic renderings of local geologic units.”
The geo walls include intricate aspects of the local geologic
environment in dramatic and eye-catching ways. For example, Barrie and other geology professors incorporated actual fossils into one of the walls, so students could study the paleontological history of San Diego. In addition, the vertical sequence of the layers corresponds to the actual sequence of rock layers in the real world. Barrie states that, “The geologic realism built into the walls will enable students to study in depth how San Diego's geologic history has unfolded over the past half billion years.”
The terrazzo strips incorporated are meant to show mathematical aspects for the math department. Barrie stated that from the beginning Penick was dedicated to designing the walls and constructing them so that they were not only scientifically accurate but aesthetically pleasing. Stating that the walls have generated a lot of enthusiasm on campus, that students are asking about the walls and wanting to know what the layers represent. The walls have helped market geoscience courses to students.