This week we’re talking all about geology! (Insert “This rocks!” pun here…) We’ll be looking at ways to make crystals, how to find and identify rocks around your community, and how to make rocks you can eat. Since geology is literally the study of the entire planet we can only cover a fraction of what this field includes but we hope it gets you excited!
Online Videos: Use these links to educate and entertain!
- Early Elementary: Learn About Types of Rocks
- Upper Elementary: History of the Grand Canyon for Kids
- Middle School: An Introduction to Geology
- High School: Geology Degree – Is It Worth It?
Rice Krispie Rocks: Rock identification in geology involves examining rocks and following flow charts or detail. Does this rock have more of mineral A or more of mineral B? What shape are those pieces and how did they come together? Once you have a name, it can tell you a lot about how the rock came to be there, but identification can take practice and patience. Luckily in this activity you can identify rocks and get a sweet snack too!
Make a Candy Agate: Agates form when water enters the cavities of igneous rocks. The water leaves behind small grains of silica in layers around the inside walls of the cavities. Many agates you see are brightly colored by dye. Minerals deposited by groundwater form the natural color variation of agates. Looking at a natural agate slice is looking at the history of the rock!
Geologic Time: Saying things like “dinosaurs lived for 186 million years” or “the Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago” involves numbers that humans really have no context for. These values are so unbelievably big that they can be hard to imagine. This activity creates a physical model that can drive home exactly how huge a scale we’re talking about when we discuss geologic time.
For additional resources, check out our new STEM @ Home page!