Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Science: Gems and Minerals Provocation

I live in Tucson, Arizona.
Every year, we have the Gem and Mineral Show come to town. 
It is wonderful tradition that has been happening for 60 years! I love to go with my husband and son, and sometimes I go with a friend. There is plenty of jewelry to shop for, but I like to keep my eye out for interesting (and inexpensive) things to bring to the classroom. 

Can you imagine having something as remarkable as this in your science center? 

After a visit to the gem show, I decided to put out a provocation for scientific exploration: 

(I later added a better magnifying glass and a book about gems and minerals). 
Here are some close-ups: 

This is what I believe to be a trilobite fossil. They are a marine-based arthropod that have been extinct for over 250 million years.
Crystal quartz, geodes, pyrite (also known as fool's gold), and desert rose (see the petals?).

These are wonderful additions to the science area! Sparkly geodes are pretty much always a hit, and the fossil sparked a lot of interesting conversations.

The children searched the book looking for pictures matching the minerals we had in the classroom. 
What is something interesting that you can bring into the classroom to spark interest in science?  I look forward to your comments! 

Happy playing!


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