Sterling Hill Mine Museum

mining artifacts at sterling hill mining museum

Mineralogy & Mining Education

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is dedicated to educating teachers and their students about natural resource issues, with particular reference to the State of New Jersey.

Our education programs explore such topics as the geology and mineralogy of New Jersey, our nonrenewable resources (metals, nonmetals, and fuels), how those resources have been extracted and used over time, and, in a global sense, how our present lives are shaped by the materials available to us. We work within the broad fields of the STEM core subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), which we often explore not only in their current but also historical contexts.

All of our educational offerings are aligned with New Jersey core curriculum standards and are designed to be implemented by teachers within the context of their existing school curriculum.

Sterling Mine Museum 

30 Plant Street

Ogdensburg, NJ 07439

P. 973-209-MINE (6463)

W. Sterling Hill Mine Museum

E. Sterling Hill Mine Museum

Tour Costs

Group Rates as of 2014:

$9.00 for Adults

$8.00 for Seniors age 65 and up

$7.00 for K-12 students (children under 17 years of age).

Spring, Summer & Fall Schedule

April – November:  Public tours every day at 1:00 PM (Open 7 days a week).

Note: On weekends and holidays (Independence Day, Labor Day), until September 3, 2012, the museum will be offering an additional public tour at 11:00 AM.  For the 11:00 AM tour please plan to arrive by 10:30.  Our weekday schedule will remain the same, with one public tour at 1:00 PM.

The Rock Discovery Center is open Saturdays & Sundays at 11:30 AM ONLY.

This is a $4.00 per person add-on option to the Mine Tour.

Winter Schedule

December – March:  Public tours on Saturday & Sunday only.

In case of inclement weather it is best to call ahead (973-209-7212) to confirm that we are open.  For details on our current schedule click here

Take a Video Tour

Overview of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum

Mineral Collecting


Fossil Discovery Center

Rock Discovery Center

Ellis Astronomical Observatory



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For Detailed Description and Directions Click on each Marker Below

School and Youth Group Trips & Programs

Our Education Programs: An Overview

Watch this Video

Educational Field Trips & Programs

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is now in its 15th year of providing inservice programs for teachers of grades 3 – 12. Our educational opportunities include both on-site and off-site teacher workshops, classroom visitations, videoconferences, and educational field trips on topics in science, history, technology, math, and social studies. We provide a full range of on-site opportunities for teachers who wish to bring their classes to us.  In addition, we offer on-site seminars and field training for college and university students, summer institutes with geologists in specialized fields, and cooperative educational events with other organizations.

Museum and Mineralogy Experts

The education director at Sterling Hill, Dr. Earl R. Verbeek, is a research geologist who oversees and implements the museum’s program of geoscience content instruction. Educators on our staff have career experience in geology, mineralogy, hydrology, paleontology, stratigraphy, environmental geology, land-use planning, resource extraction and land remediation, and historical preservation.

Educational Facilities

Educational field trips and functions at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum take place not in a classroom, but in the buildings and on the grounds of a well-preserved industrial complex and unique geological site.  The entire site is a dynamic interactive classroom that is utilized not only by science teachers, but also by numerous colleges and universities that bring their students to this world-famous locality for direct field experiences unobtainable elsewhere.

How to Participate in Field Trips & Programs

For more information on our education offerings, see the relevant sections of this website: On-site WorkshopsOff-site Contract TrainingClassroom VisitsField Trips, and College-level Instruction.

To request additional information or to discuss customization of our offerings to better suit your needs, contact Dr. Earl Verbeek at or by phone at 973-209-7212.

To sign up for a scheduled event, or to receive e-mail notices of upcoming events, contact Jason Winkler at

Family Trips and Programs

Individual & Family Mine Tours

Sterling Hill offers Public Mine Tours for individuals and families according to the schedule below. One should try to arrive 1/2 hour ahead of the tour time to relieve congestion.

Individual and family educational tours in new jersey

Public Tour Schedule

View our current Tour Schedule for dates and times.

In case of inclement weather it is best to call ahead 973-209-MINE (6463) to confirm that we are open.

Fossil Discovery Center

Select days, May – November. 

This is a $4.50 per person add-on option to the Mine Tour.

Rock Discovery Center

Saturdays & Sundays at 12:00 p.m. ONLY.

April – October. 

This is a $4.00 per person add-on option to the Mine Tour.


Birthday Parties

Having your child’s next birthday party at Sterling Hill Mining Museum offers the combination of an educational experience, the thrill of touring a real underground mine and becomes a hands on educational experience when Rock or Fossil Discovery Centers are added.

Glowing Minerals!

Every kid loves and is amazed with our world famous “Fluorescent Rainbow Tunnel,” where everybody takes home a fluorescent mineral for free. We have available seating both indoor and outdoor depending on weather and are handicap accessible.

birthday celebration

Rock Discover Center for adults and kids

Take 6 samples home from the Rock Discovery Center.

Rock Discover Center for adults and kids

Find and take home many different fossils from our Fossil Discovery Center.

Package Ideas

What a Blast!

Include the Mine Tour on the day of your visit and the Birthday Child gets to press the button on the blasting demo inside the Mine!

Groups of 10 or more:

Birthday child receives a free miner’s cap with light.

Groups of 20 or more:

Birthday child goes free AND gets a free miner’s cap with light.

Mine Tour alone:

$8 each / $7 for groups of 10 or more

Mine Tour with the Rock Discovery Center$12 each / $11 for groups of 10 or more

Mine Tour with the Fossil Discovery Center*:

$12.50 each / $11.50 for groups of 10 or more

Fossil Discovery Center* & Rock Discovery Center$8.50 each

Major Miner Package:

$16.50 each / $15.50 groups 10 or more

The package includes the Mine TourRock Discovery Center and Fossil Discovery Center.*

* For the Fossil Discovery Center you must book your date on a date when the Fossil Discovery Center is open. See our Calendar for a full schedule.

Above prices are for children under 12, adults are extra.

The Museum offers a fully stocked Miner’s Pick  Museum Store, the Miner’s Lunchbox an air- conditioned indoor snack bar seating area as well as a covered outdoor picnic area and modern restroom facilities.

College Level Instruction

Education: College-Level Instruction

Sterling Hill has long been a destination of choice for universities interested in introducing their students to concepts of geology, ore deposit formation, mineralogy, and industrial process technology through field trips. For decades that function was filled by the New Jersey Zinc Company, operators of the Sterling Hill mine until its closure in 1986.

We continue that tradition by offering the following, either singly or in any desired combination:

  • Underground and surface field instruction at Sterling Hill
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Mineral collecting opportunities, including nighttime collecting for fluorescent minerals
  • Off-site field trips to other localities nearby

In addition, our three Ph.D. geologists can offer local expertise on a variety of research topics, including technical support of thesis research at the baccalaureate and advanced degree levels. We regularly cooperate with university professors and their students on aspects of the local mineralogy and geology, and are eager to see more studies done in the area to continue the flow of knowledge. More remains to be learned than is known thus far.

College groups interested in field trips to Sterling Hill are encouraged to contact Dr. Earl Verbeek at, or by phone at 973-209-7212, to discuss their plans and obtain a price quote. Prices depend on the combination of services desired and the length of time required, but as a rough guide, count on $20 per student for an all-day tour, plus $5 admission fee and $1.50/lb if mineral collecting at Sterling Hill is to be added. Off-site field trips will be slightly more expensive, as will lectures and seminars due to preparation time. Research support is generally offered gratis as long as the results are intended for publication.

Campgrounds are available nearby for groups wishing to spend more than one day in the area, and the town of Franklin, only 2.5 miles distant, offers a full complement of fast-food restaurants for inexpensive dinner fare.

Educator Professional Development

Discounted Admission for All Members of the New Jersey Education Association

Teacher Instruction

We proudly offer a $1.00 discount on admission to all New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) members and their accompanying relatives.

Why Discounted Admission to Educators?

This access will provide New Jersey educators with numerous valuable opportunities — to preview the museum in preparation for class trips for their students, to gather valuable information and resources as they prepare to teach earth science and history in their classrooms, and much more.

Approximately 30,000 students visit us annually on about 400 class trips. The Sterling Hill Mining Museum works in partnership with New Jersey educators in a wide range of exciting education programs at the museum as well as in New Jersey classrooms.

This program offering discounted admission to New Jersey educators is designed to extend and deepen the relationships we already have established.

Our Commitment to Education

Teacher Resources

Sterling Hill’s education committee has made available several free resources to make class trips to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum more successful and productive: Information SheetsLesson Plans and Student Surveys.

Professional Workshops for Instructors

Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a State-registered provider of professional development training for teachers.

We offer scheduled On-site WorkshopsOff-Site Training and Field Trips. Our scheduled workshops are also announced through the NJSSI List-Serv system.

NJEA membership benefits   Check out the NJEA Member Benefits


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Author: Stuspots

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  • LMS1006

    Hey, good day. I am the
    head of the science department for a school in NY. I am looking into to
    programs for both teachers and students to attend this up coming year. I would
    like to branch out and try something new. I was wondering if this program works
    well with the NY system as well as it does for NJ?

  • Romano024

    Yes, it does work well with NY curriculum requirements. I
    teach in Jersey but I attend the teachers program with a now close friend that
    teaches in your area and they didn’t have any issues and found it helpful. For students
    trips its not too far to travel depending where you are located.

  • Amy

    This is a great place for School Field Trips. I have a younger brother who went last year and honestly, he would not stop talking about it!

  • jamie

    i have been here a few times, really fun when i was kids, i mean it was tons fun but now when i go bsck, eh i feel its a lil too kiddish for me, but still nonetheless an awesome place for any kid