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Fun Science Projects for Kids


Be a Rock Hound
Keep your rock collection in a box and label the types of rocks.
Keep your rock collection in a box and label the types of rocks.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Do you know what it means to be a rock hound? A rock hound is someone who enjoys collecting rocks and minerals. Rock collecting is a fun hobby that will keep you entertained for years to come.

It doesn't matter where you live -- rocks can be found almost everywhere -- but different parts of the country do have different kinds of rocks. In some regions, you can find tons of granite; in other regions, most of the rock is sandstone or limestone.

Rocks are made out of minerals, so the kinds of rocks you find in a region depend on what kinds of minerals are found there. It also depends on what geologic events have happened in the area. For example, if a volcano ever dumped molten lava in your area, you'll find lots of igneous rocks.

If your region was once under water, you'll find sedimentary rocks (rocks made when mud, sand, and minerals settle and harden). And if the Earth has buckled, you'll find metamorphic rocks (rocks that have been changed by pressure and/or heat). All rocks fall into one of these three basic categories.

Here's how to get a good start to being a rock hound:

What You'll Need:

  • Rocks
  • Rock-identifying books
  • Box

Step 1: Take a hike through your neighborhood and see how many different kinds of rocks you can find.

Step 2: Look along roads, streams, lakes, and excavations for rocks of different colors and different textures (smooth or rough, shiny or dull).

Step 3: See if you can identify your rocks.

One way to identify rocks is to use a book that shows the different kinds. Check out a book from your library, and match your rock samples to pictures and descriptions in the book. The book will probably also tell you what minerals are in each kind of rock and how it was formed.

Another way to identify your rocks is to go to a rock shop. There, you'll see samples of all different kinds of rocks, labeled with their names. Which ones look like rocks you found?

Step 4: Keep your rock collection in a box.

Step 5: Glue each rock to the box and label it, or make a compartment for samples of each kind of rock. Keep expanding your rock collection as you find new and unusual rocks.

One substance you won't find on your rock hunt is super-absorbent polymer. Keep reading to find out how you can do a magic trick with it.

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