Hunting for seven BC gems

Gems, Rocks
& Minerals

Suitable for Grades 2- 8
who are mostly new to
Earth Sciences

The class is split into two. One group is then taught the Intermediate Geology class, while the other does the Hunt and Glue program. Each program takes about 25 minutes, depending on age and previous knowledge. The groups then trade places. After completing both programs, the class combines for their Free Time Collecting.

Intermediate geology talk, with hand specimens
Learning Outcomes
Grade 2-3:
Addresses 4 learning outcomes (Magn'm & Earth's Comp'n).
Grade 5:
Addresses 3 learning outcomes (BC's Non-living Res).
Grade 7:
Addresses 2 learning outcomes (Earth's Crust).
Grade 8:
Addresses 3 learning outcomes (Geo Processes).

Cost is $6.00 (including taxes) per student, minimum of 15 students. We have hosted hundreds of classes since 1992. It gets very busy in May/June, so please book well in advance.
Typically, the full program takes 90-100 minutes.

At the work tables, creating gem ID cards 1. Intermediate geology

The students sit around a staff member, who teaches them about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Many hand specimens are passed around, to illustrate different points of the talk. Fire agates, emerald crystals, lodestone, meteorites and fossil sharks' teeth are just some of the interesting samples that move from hand to hand. Again, students are encouraged to touch, feel and learn.

2. Hunt & Glue

In the Scratch Patch, a staff member teaches the group to identify and collect seven minerals of British Columbia. These are polished, semi-precious stones (jade, rhodonite, red jasper, agate, yellow jasper, carnelian and quartz crystal) about 1 cm in size. Students are encouraged to help each other touch, find and identify these seven colourful minerals.

When to bring a class:

When teaching a unit in Earth Science, some teachers believe in bringing their class at the beginning, to start the course off with a BANG! Others prefer to bring their students as a wrap-up. Both have their advantages.

It is our experience (as we go into our eleventh year) that bringing students after they have already become acquainted with the fundamentals, allows us to challenge their understanding, and "push the geological envelope".

We have many resources, most of which are not brought into play unless we find a class capable of absorbing the knowledge.

Free time collecting in the Scratch Patch

The group then moves indoors. Each student gets a card with seven spaces where the gemstones are glued, using low temperature glue guns. Each card has a space for the student's name and grade. On the back are the properties of the gems. These cards go back to school with the students.

3. Free time collecting

Students are supplied with collector's bags, and encouraged to fill them with whatever takes their fancy in the Scratch Patch. If time permits, a lesson in gold panning is included. These bags go back to school, where you can use a link on our website to Identify Your Gemstones.

4. Visiting the Interpretive Centre

If enough parent helpers are available, students are welcome to visit the Interpretive Centre, an area of interactive exhibits featuring static and dynamic models illustrating the Earth Sciences. No more than 3 students per supervisor, please.

Teaching a course on fossils? Mineral World now teaches school groups all about dinosaurs and paleontology, with a real hands-on excavation experience! Check out the Gems and Fossils Project page!

Mineral World & Scratch Patch

On the waterfront
9891 Seaport Place, Sidney, BC
Phone: (250)655-GEMS

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Press Inquiries/Webmaster Contact:
Bill Allen

(516) 486-3902
2480 Lawn Drive, #2
East Meadow, NY 11554