New Programs Competition

Melting scrap silver, Image Credit: Marty Hart

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New Programs Competition

The purpose of the New Programs Competition is to encourage the production of earth science programs related to the rockhound hobby by the individual members and member clubs of the various Federations through the conduct of visual arts program competitions.  As a result of the annual competitions, the member Regional Federations are provided with duplicate copies of the award winning programs.  These programs are therefore available for use by the individual clubs and societies through their associated Regional Federation.

Competition Information

Current Rules & Application Form

Winning Programs


AFMS Program Competition - A Brief History

The Program Competition Committee was set up in 1976 as a way to provide a supply of high quality Earth Science programs to Clubs across the country by rewarding and recognizing the authors.  The First Place Winner in each of three Classes received a $100 prize and their program was duplicated and given to each Regional Program Library.   Classes for entry were, "Educational", "Collecting Sites..." and "Craftwork (How to do It)".

Kay Jensen (EFMLS) served as Chairman from 1976 til 1982 when ill health prevented her from continuing.  In addition to conducting the Competition, Mrs. Jensen produced "Helps for Making Slide Programs" and "Photographing Minerals" - slide programs helpful to prospective producers.

Wendell Mohr (EFMLS) chaired the Committee following the pattern set (by Mrs. Jensen) from 1983 - 1985.  At that time the cash prize was eliminated in the face of budget restraints.  Margaret Pearson (MFMS) took over the Chairmanship and served from 1986 to 1991.  She opened the Competition to videos and developed an award for commercially produced programs.  Barbara Anderson (MFMS) served 1992 and 1993.  Marge Collins (MFMS) accepted the appointment in 1994 and continues at present.

Since 1977, fifty amateur programs (46 slide programs, 4 videos) have been duplicated for each Regional Library.  In 1991 the 'Commercial Class" was established to recognize "Excellence in Education".  Presentations produced for resale are judged on their own merits.  To date three videos have received this Award.  Thus the total number of Winners is 53.

Most of these programs are still in each Regional Library and continue to be used by Clubs across the country.  Over the years, a few copies have been lost or damaged and were not replaced because of budget restraints. (Midwest Federation does have complete set as of 1997).  The Regional Libraries do depend on the AFMS Program Competition as a source for new programs.

A poll of surviving winners reveals some additional information.  As noted, cash prizes were presented to First Place Winners from 1977 until 1985.  (They were appreciated as a way to defray production costs.)  After 1985, plaques or medallions and certificates were given as the only 'award'.  In 1994 a new certificate and an engraved Award Name Badge designating "Four Star" Award status was designed, allowing winners to wear their Award.

This Competition has responded to changing technology and the needs of Clubs by including video presentations produced by both amateurs and professionals.   As more Club members have access to improved methods of production aided by computers it is hoped that they will be willing to share these productions so that Clubs across the country can enjoy and learn from them.

written by Marge Collins with info provided by

MWF Archives and winners response poll

This article was taken from:

A Brief History

of the

American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc.

50 Years of Service

1947 - 1997

which was presented at the combined EFMLS/AFMS Convention and Show in Jackson, Mississippi October 1997.  It was hosted by the Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society and the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical & Lapidary Societies.

About the image on this page

Melting Silver

Scrap silver is melted with a torch to use in a lost wax casting class during a federation workshop week at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Young Harris, Georgia.

Image Credit: Marty Hart