Ask-a-Geologist #20: What can you tell me about the mineral pyrite?

Today I have a special guest with me. Her name is Piper and we are discussing the mineral pyrite. (Make sure you watch the video until the end to see our first blooper reel!)

Glaciers are Awesome!

A glacier is a large, moving sheet of ice and snow. Next to oceans, glaciers hold the most water on earth. The polar areas are covered largely by glaciers and in warmer areas, glaciers cover the highest mountain tops. Many other geologic features can also be formed by glaciers as well. Glaciers can be found on every continent.

A Little Fun Info about Mountains!

A mountain is a tall mass of land that has been either formed through tectonic plate collision or stretching or by volcanic activity. Mountains form some of the most spectacular and interesting scenery in the world.

What You Need to Know About Minerals & Gemstones

Minerals are unique chemical substances which are homogeneous (the same) throughout the specimen. Minerals can be found as single crystals or clusters of many crystals. Rocks are a group of minerals that are found together.

Geology is all around you!

Whether you know a lot about geology or just a little, you probably know that the Earth’s crust and the material below it are made up of rocks and minerals. There are hundreds of varieties of rocks and minerals and each one has its own unique history from the time it was formed to the time someone finds a specimen and adds it to their collection

Paleontology: Fossils, Fossils, Fossils!

Paleontologists are geologists and scientists who specialize in the study of fossils. Fossils help to tell the story of our great Earth. Almost all fossils are found in sedimentary rock such as shale, limestone, and sandstone. A fossil is formed when an animal or plant dies and is quickly buried by sediment before it has time to decay. The hard parts of the animal or plant such as shells, bone and wood are fossilized in the rock formed from the sediment.

Growing Salt Crystals is a Fun Geology Experiment for Kids (and adults, too)!

Hey Mini Me Geologists! Try this fun experiment to learn more about growing salt crystals. Did you know that the salt you put on your food is actually a mineral? Salt forms naturally by precipitation or evaporation. In this experiment, you will watch salt crystals form by precipitation because it is just more fun than watching water dry and leave salt behind, although you can try that method, too. Grab an adult to help you with the stove and boiling water but the rest you can do on your own. In nature, salt will precipitate from mineral-rich water in oceans or lakes so you will simulate ocean water to grow your crystals.

I Really, Really Hate Rock and Mineral Clip Art

Do you love clip art? I do…sort of. I know that this might not be a popular stance. However, when it comes to some things, like rock and mineral products; I HATE clip art.

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.

Rock Chips are Bad for Students

I’m a firm believer in hands-on learning. When it comes to teaching geology, I think that students need to have samples of rocks and minerals to feel, observe and test.