Join Us for Rock Detectives Camp or Throw One Yourself

The kids just started their last nine weeks of school which means it is time to think about signing up for summer camp. If you live in the Charleston, South Carolina, area or plan to visit us this summer, we would love to have you join us for our annual Rock Detectives Camp.

Ask-a-Geologist #15: What notes do I take when I find rocks and minerals?

Ellie wrote to us and asked what notes she should take when she finds rocks and minerals. Geologists use fancy notebooks with waterproof paper but a simple notebook and pen will work just fine. Watch this video to find out what notes to take and how to organize your notebook for your collection.

Ask-a-Geologist #14: What are the properties of the mineral calcite?

Sophia asked: what are the properties of calcite? I’m especially interested in its cleavage directions and fracture pattern.

Crystals Can Form Great Shapes

There are many, many different crystal shapes in the world. In fact, there are too many to list in a simple blog post! Determining the shapes of different minerals can help you uncover their identity.

Ask-a-Geologist #13: Do I need a geology degree to be a jewelry designer?

Hi everyone, my name is Tracy Barnhart and I am the professional geologist here at Mini Me Geology and I am back with another awesome question for you about geology careers.

Help! I Have to Teach Rock and Mineral Identification and I’m Not a Geologist!

Have you ever had this thought? “Help! I have to teach rock and mineral identification and I’m not a geologist.” Identifying rocks and minerals is difficult. Even the most experienced geologists are stumped sometimes (often when an elementary student hands you a random rock they found on the playground and want to know what it is on the spot!). Minerals can have many colors and shapes while rocks sometimes just look alike.

Ask-a-Geologist Q&A Video #12: How do you clean streak plates?

Several of our readers have written to us and asked: How do you clean streak plates? In case you are not familiar with streak plates, they are little pieces of unglazed porcelain tile that you use to test the streak color of a mineral. There are black streak plates and white streak plates. You use the black plates for light-colored minerals and white plates for dark-colored minerals. To test the streak, you rub the mineral across the streak plate and see what color shows up on the plate. That is the streak or the color of the mineral in powdered form. When you do the test you need to rub hard on the streak plate because you are trying to crush part of the sample into a fine powder. Over time the plates will become dirty and you will want to clean them.

Rock & Mineral Books that I Love

I get a lot of questions here at Mini Me Geology about rock and mineral books. While I write all of our books about the identification of rocks and minerals, one book that I will not attempt is a compilation of every rock and mineral type known. Why? Because there are so many fabulous books already out there. I have several sitting on my bookshelf that I truly love so here is my list just in case you want to add to your own rock and mineral book library.