Rockology 101

Welcome to class! This is a place for students of all ages to learn about Rogers Group operations and products or just have a little fun!

Rockology 101: Learning
Rockology 101: Fun Facts
Rockology 101: Activities
Activity: Properties of Stone
Activity: Homemade Stones
Activity: Cookie Mining
Activity: A Tasty Core Sample
Activity: Making a Quarry Shot
Activity: Sedimentary Rock
Activity: Metamorphic Rock
Activity: Igneous Rock
Activity: Fake Fossil Casts
Activity: Chocolate Asphalt Cookies
Activity: Concrete Milkshake
Activity: Amazing Rock Candy
Activity: Homemade Toothpaste
Activity: Borax Silly Putty
Activity: Sandy Decorative Bottles
Activity: Aggregate Word Search

Studying the Properties of Stone

You will need:

For Activity 1:

grid paper

magnifying glass

tape measure or ruler

small scale

homemade stone

For Activity 2:

paper plates


homemade stones

paper cups

Please have an adult's supervision for this activity.

Students should make Homemade Stones about 1 week in advance of this lesson.

Geologists study earth materials called stones. Geologists have discovered over 200 different kinds of stone that form the earth’s crust.

One of the challenges a geologist faces is to determine the ingredients in different kinds of stone. Many earth materials combine to make stone, just as the ingredients you have in your kitchen can be combined to make cookies. Once a geologist knows a stone’s ingredients, he or she can generate ideas about the origins of the stone.

After making observations of the whole stone, a geologist physically breaks the sample apart into its different components. To make more detailed observations of the stone materials, the geologist may take it back to a lab where other equipment is available to perform chemical test on the stone. These tests provide more clues to the identity of the materials and evidence about how the stone was formed. Geologists observe the properties of stone. A property is something you can observe about an object, such as color, shape, and texture.

Activity Number 1: Physical properties of stone

Trace the stone onto the grid paper.

Using the magnifying class and by just looking at the stone, have the students write down as much as they can about the stone's properties.

Using the scale and tape measure have the students record:

Weight of the rock - how heavy the stone is

Diameter - distance across the stone

Circumference - distance around the stone

Depth - distance through the object

Activity 2: Real stones are made of up different components.

Break the stones in half. Using the nail as a type of geologist’s tool, use the nail to take the stone apart. Students should separate the ingredients into paper cups. Students should write down the different ingredients they find.

Some physical properties used to identify minerals are:

  Earthy Sour
  Sweet Rotten Egg
  Glassy/vitreous Shines like glass
  Earthy/chalky Dull
  Metallic Looks like metal
  Waxy/Silky/Pearly Has a muted shine
  Reacts to hydrochloric acid Fizzes
  Attracted to a magnet  
  What is the color? Red, yellow, blue, green, brown, black, gray
  Color of the mineral when it is scratched against a streak plate (unglazed porcelain)  
  Texture of the mineral  
  Gritty Sandy
  Powdery Earthy or Chalky
  Smooth Glass
  Smooth and Sticky Waxy
  Sharp Metallic
  Moh’s Scale of Hardness When Scratched By
  2 Fingernail
  4 Penny
  5 Steel (knife blade)
  6 Glass
  7-10 Mineral will scratch steel/glass
  Specific gravity of mineral weight goes from very light to very heavy (example: diatomite to magnetite)