Connecting Kids with Rocks

This project gets kids excited to go hike and explore rocks.
1) Provide a variety of semi-precious gemstones (mainly quartz and micro-crystalline quartz minerals) and string for kids to make a bracelet.
2) As the kids are constructing their bracelet, provide information about gemstone identification.
3) Provide an overview of likely geological settings for the minerals/gemstones to precipitate.
4) Encourage the kids to get out and explore the rocks around them.

  • Goal: Engage kids (target ages: 8-12)  in rocks and minerals (Geology)
    • Utilize commonly available semi-precious, polished and drilled gemstones.

Activity:  1) Use colorful/graphical posters and handouts to educate about where rocks and minerals (Earth Resources) come from.  Different types of rocks related to the Rock Cycle.  Introduce the elements and chemical makeup of common and colorful minerals.

               2) Kids will make their own bracelets of semi-precious gemstones and metals

               3) Kids will learn the names and be exposed to chemical formulas of the gemstones they choose for their bracelets.  They will also be able to connect the generalized tectonic setting and earth conditions under which the minerals are formed. 

               4) Kids can take home a laminated cartoon illustrating their gems and formation conditions.

               5) Read a rock cycle/geology children’s book. 

Materials needed:

  • tables and/or sheets/blankets for bracelet-making workspace
  • gemstone and metal with wire/string bracelet kits
  • printouts/posters/handouts
  • gem and mineral look up books
  • book on rocks
  • mineral kit
  • rock hardness kit
  • hand lenses