Five Tips for Teaching Rock Identification to Elementary Students

Identifying rock samples is sometimes overwhelming to young students. Since there are three classes of rocks, each which have many different types, it can be very confusing when you start to explain the differences between each, especially because some look so much alike! If possible, teach the students about mineral identification before you move on to rocks, after all, rocks are simply a combination of one or more minerals.

How Does Santa Make His Coal?

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Chances are, if you’ve been naughty that you might be the unhappy recipient of a few nuggets of Santa’s coal this year. But, just how does Santa make that coal? Do the elves quietly manufacture chunks of coal each year or does Santa have a little help […]

Ask-a-Geologist #4: Why do geologists tests rocks for calcite?

Today we have another great geology question from one of our readers.

Terrance writes: Why do scientists check rocks to see if they contain calcite?

The Most Hated Word in Geology

Ok, so I’m sure that not everyone hates this word. But, I sure do. I see many kids get frustrated with the subject of rocks just because this word is confusing and teachers often use it without explaining how easy the word really is to understand.

What’s the word? The word is detrital. Its synonym, clastic, is a close second on my “words I hate list.” Number three on my list has nothing to do with geology.

What is Plate Tectonics and How Does it Work?

Alfred Wegener, a German scientist, developed the theory of plate tectonics in the early 1900’s. He published his ideas in a book titled The Origin of Continents and Oceans, in 1915. Wegener noticed that the continents on Earth looked like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and believed that the continents were once connected.

Ask-A-Geologist Q&A #2: What is syenite used for?

What is the rock syenite used for?

Ask-A-Geologist Question: Why are some rocks easier to weather?

Today’s Ask-A-Geologist question is about rock weathering. Weathering can cause subtle or dramatic changes in the appearance of a rock.

The Travertine Hot Spring Terraces of Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale, Turkey is home to one of the most beautiful and interesting geological setting in the world – the travertine hot spring terraces that cascade down the hillside toward the city below.

Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies is the Perfect Metamorphic Rock Experiment

What can be yummier than chocolate chip cookies? Well, they are a cool metamorphic rock experiment too!

How to Create a Rock & Mineral Collection

Are you fascinated with rocks and minerals? Do you want to start a collection for yourself or your kids but don’t know where to start and what types of samples to collect? I get lots of questions from people who want to start a collection but a daunted by the variety of rock and mineral types and the costs of some of these samples. Here are some great tips for starting your own collection.