Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

15.2 Reporting on Favorite Web Sites

 

15.2: Reporting on Favorite Web Sites

Activity 15.1 brings your kids together as a group to learn how to explore the web and see the sorts of things they can find related to our hobby while doing so with safety and security in mind. Activity 15.2 now sends them off to explore the web on their own and to report back. Each junior member should surf the web to explore his or her own area of interest, be it rocks, minerals, fossils, geodes, meteorites, dinosaurs, famous gemstones, lapidary arts, museums, field trips, etc. Have kids settle on the two or three web sites related to their topic that they find the most interesting. They should thoroughly explore the sites and then do a brief write-up to report back that includes: 1) the web address of each site and its title, if it has one; 2) a brief description of what‘s to be found on each site; and 3) a conclusion about why they would recommend each site to other club members. You can let kids explore totally on their own, or you can provide suggestions as starting points. Here are some specific web sites you might recommend:

Fossils:

The National Park Service Junior Paleontologist Program site helps kids explore how paleontologists work, along with links to still more sites, activities, and resources.

The Paleontological Portal of the University of California Museum of Paleontology is an entry point to fossil resources for all age levels.

The Virtual Fossil Museum is an educational resource welcoming contributions by educators, scientists, and amateur fossil enthusiasts. It includes pictures and photos, fossil sites, geological history, paleobiology and more!

Minerals and Earth Resources:

The Education link of the U.S. Geological Survey web site is filled with activities and even links to experts who will answer kids‘ questions.

The Mineral Information Institute provides a wealth of info and resources on minerals, their uses, and careers in the earth sciences.

Women in Mining also provides good info and resources on minerals and their uses, along with links to other interesting earth science sites.

A Mineral Gallery shows gorgeous gemstones with info on the properties of nearly 200 different types of minerals.

Zack‘s Rocks & Minerals is a nice all-purpose rock-and-mineral web site that was initially designed when Zachary was a teenage junior member of the Lynchburg (Virginia) club. He has continued to update and expand the site. This provides an inspiring illustration of where a junior‘s interest might take him or her!

The Educational Technology Center at Kennesaw State University has put together this fine collection of links to all sorts of resources related to rocks, minerals, and the earth sciences geared to kids and learning.

The Mineral Database is a mineral-by-mineral treasure trove of information on mineral compositions, descriptions, localities, etc.

Lapidary Arts:

www.rockhounds.com Bob‘s Rock Shop teamed with Rock & Gem magazine to provide a first-class resource on topical information for hobbyists.

http://Socrates.berkeley.edu/~eps2/ A professional gemologist and a college professor team to provide lessons on gems, gem material, and lapidary skills.

Go to the Rio Grande website and click on 'earn with Rio' to access free how-to video clips on various lapidary arts.

Museums:

www.lib.washington.edu/sla/natmus.html Rated a 'Top Site' by Education Index, here you‘ll find links to museums and university collections worldwide.

'Kuban‘s Guide to Natural History Museums' features annotated links to larger museums with fossil displays.

The American Museum of Natural History provides on-line activities and resources specifically for kids.

Note: Kids can use this activity to satisfy requirements toward earning the Communication badge simultaneously (Activities 7.1 or 7.2).