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Junior Geologists

The students will become junior geologists as they explore the world of the Earth’s crust, rocks, minerals, and landforms.  Our junior geologists investigate the layers of the earth, their properties, and how and why they formed. Students then learn the difference between rocks and minerals.  They learn how the three main types of rocks are formed and how they change over time in a process called the rock cycle. Students sort samples of common rocks according to their type. They learn special characteristics of each, and become familiar with specimens of Earth’s most common rocks. Students spend several weeks studying minerals, learning what makes a mineral a mineral, procedures for testing mineral properties, identifying a variety of minerals through experimentation and testing, and studying minerals with microscopes. Students will learn the five characteristics of a mineral. They will then use these characteristics to determine whether different specimens are minerals or not. Students examine mineral samples and learn test procedures by which minerals are identified. Using an identification flow chart, students apply their knowledge of test procedures in order to identify a number of unknown common minerals. Finally, students study landform creation through weathering and erosion. In a simulated mining experience, junior geologists learn about the pros and cons of removing rocks and minerals from the Earth. They examine the many uses of earth products. The students’ work is collected into a portfolio that they will use to share with their friends and family, and to demonstrate their working knowledge of Geology.

Ages: 9-12yo.

Teacher: Quest in Science

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