Super rock hounds will want to put together this simple mineral testing kit for identifying minerals and testing their properties.
What You'll Need for the Bag:
- Canvas or denim scraps
- Needle and thread
- Thick string
First, make a small, sturdy bag to carry your kit in:
Step 1: Cut two 6-inch by 8-inch pieces of canvas or denim and put them together, wrong side out.
Step 2: Sew three sides together.
Step 3: Fold over one inch of fabric on the top. Sew together to form a casing.
Step 4: Slit one of the seams open in the casing and slip a drawstring through it.
What You'll Need for the Kit:
- Small piece of glass
- Piece of unglazed tile
- File or pocket knife
- Small bottle of vinegar
- Reference book about rocks
After you've assembled the supplies above, here's how you can use your kit to test rocks and minerals:
Step 1: Use the tile to test the 'streak' of the mineral. Do this by scratching the tile with your rock and seeing what color the scratches are.
Step 2: Vinegar is used to test for the presence of calcium carbonate. Put a drop of vinegar on the rock. If it fizzes, the rock contains calcium carbonate.
Step 3: Test the hardness of the rock, which is measured on a scale from 1 (the softest) to 10 (the hardest). Here's how it works:
- If your fingernail can scratch the rock, it's a 1 or 2.
- If a penny can scratch the rock, it's a 3.
- If a knife blade or file can scratch the rock, it's a 4 or 5.
- If a piece of glass can scratch the rock, it's a 6.
- If the rock can scratch knife or file, or if the rock can barely scratch glass, it's a 7.
The highest numbers (8-10) are used for rocks that are harder than the common minerals that you're likely to find.
Now you can use what you learn to identify the rocks in a reference book.
The next science project in science projects for kids: crystals and minerals is an experiment in deliciousness.