Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

2.5 Field Trip to a Hardware Store


2.5 Field trip to a hardware store

To get you started, here are a few things that come immediately to my mind as to what you can find in your local hardware store or home building supply store derived from common minerals and rocks:

copper wiring, pipes, and plumbing fixtures

steel and iron nails

aluminum and tin siding

brass screws and ornamental plates (brass is an alloy of copper and zinc)

lead solder

diamond on some drill bits and saw blades (for cutting title, concrete, etc.)

diatomaceous earth for swimming pool filters

plaster and plasterboard (made from gypsum)

sandpaper (several varieties: garnet, silicon carbide, and corundum, or emery)

glass (made from silica sand)

various crushed stones for ornamental use (red or black volcanic cinders or scoria, limestone, marble, etc.)


bricks and ceramic products (made from fired clay, or kaolin)

salt (or halite) for melting icy buildup on sidewalks

slate slabs for high-priced shingles and flagstones

slabs of various sorts for ornamental use, as in kitchen countertops (made from granite, marble, labradorite, etc.)

Using this list as a starting point, see what else your kids can find!