Detailed ReviewManufacturer's Description
Kit includes materials needed for 18 geologically focused experiments.
Carefully following the instructions, kids and adults can work together to complete all the projects and experiments while gaining an introduction to the science of geology.
Most users were happy with this set. Far more educational than the typical crystal growing kit, it goes well beyond mixing water with alum powder and food coloring. Designed as a way to spark interest in geology, this kit combines hands-on projects with an illustrated and informational booklet.
The booklet explains the rock cycle, rock categories (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous), crystal types (tetrahedrons, octahedrons, rhomboids, etc.), and geological vocabulary. Learning terms such as color, luster, hardness, density, and magnetism, children are then able to apply those terms in order to identify the included mineral samples.
The rock and mineral samples are small, as is common with these types of kits. Again, this is a kit geared more toward learning about geology rather than starting a rock collection.
Projects include such things as folding paper to make 3D representations of the most common crystal shapes, such as rhomboids, tetrahedrons, and octahedrons. There are experiments to determine the presence of carbon, iron, and sulfur in a substance. A few crystals can be grown, including a geode.
Geodes look like boring rocks on the outside but are filled with sparkling crystals on the inside. In order for this experiment to work, the instructions must be followed precisely. Not bringing the water to the proper temperature, or not letting the solution sit for the indicated duration can easily result in disappointing crystal growth.
Made for kids, this set still needs some adult assistance. We found that children around 12 or older who are used to working with science kits will be able to get through many of the activities on their own. Younger children will likely need help working their way through the projects.
The chemicals used in this kit can be harmful if misused, so adults should make sure children are mature enough to understand the safety measures. That said, we still suggest adult presence during the use of these chemicals, as accidents can happen. Safety googles are included, and should always be worn when working with liquids to guard against accidental splashes.
While some users were upset that adult help was often needed, we actually found that this enhances the value of the kit. Learning is often made easier when ideas are spoken out loud and bounced between people. The information explained in this kit is advanced enough to make it legitimately educational, while still being non-threatening to those without a solid background in the physical sciences.
- Follow the provided instructions.
Parts and Pieces
Parts needed are included with this set.
This kit includes chemicals that can be harmful if misused. Even children who have the proper maturity to understand how to handle these chemicals should still have adult supervision.
This kit contains balloons, which can be a choking hazard for younger children.
Learn about rocks and the minerals that form them. Dig deeper, and discover the fascinating crystal structures of these minerals. Much more than just a crystal growing kit, this experiment kit teaches you the chemistry of crystals and the geologic science behind rock formation with more than 18 hands-on projects and investigations.
Grow three chemically different types of crystals that exhibit not only different colors but also different crystal shapes. Build three-dimensional geometric models of common crystal shapes, including octahedrons, tetrahedrons, and rhomboids. Mold your own crystal geode—a hollow rock with crystals growing inside.
Learn how to test and identify minerals with your very own collection of real specimens included in the kit. Conduct tests to determine a mineral’s chemical and physical properties such as color, luster, streak color, hardness, density, magnetic properties, and carbon, sulfur, or iron content.
Investigate the geologic rock cycle, and learn how the three main categories of rock—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic—are formed, altered, destroyed, and formed again.
Full-color, 32-page experiment manual.