Investigating Rocks

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Investigating Rocks — What can we learn by looking at different layers of rocks?

Materials:

  • Access to an outdoor space
  • Access to rocks, preferably rock outcroppings or areas to observe rock layers
  • Clear jar or container (something that can get dirty, from your recycling bin)
  • Paper (or your science journal)
  • Colored pencils
  • Pencil
  • Camera (optional)

What to do:

  • Go outside to an area where you can observe rocks.  See if you can find a rock or a rocky area that has different layers, like this:
  • What do you think causes different layers of rocks to build like this?
  • Write your observations in your science journal.  Draw a sketch of the rocks you find.
  • As you look for your rocks, collect a layer of rocks at each place you visit.  Fill your jar with a layer at each stop, like this:
  • Once you have looked at many different rocks and layers and have filled your jars.  Make some observations of your jar:
    • If these were rock layers on the earth, what rocks would be the oldest?  Why?
    • How do rock layers form naturally on earth?  Why do you think that?
  • Share your findings and your science journal drawings by posting them on Facebook and tagging us @VINS.VT!

Contact education@vinsweb.org with questions or comments.