Geology STE(A)M Activity

What is STEAM?

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. Today I’m going to be going over a fun geology activity: Egg Geodes!

Egg geodes are homemade crystals that only require a few household materials which allows it to be easy to complete in a science classroom!

Before I get into the learning cycle, here a little video to show how to do the activity!

Engage:

  • I would recommend starting with having all the students completing their own. Since this activity happens overnight, finish the day-before’s class with the preparation for the geodes, so they are ready the next day.
  • This allows students to think about what they think will happen overnight then they could come in with their own theories!

Explore:

  • The next day, have the students examine the geodes and have them record what they see. Be sure they focus on the shapes of the crystals as well as the reaction.
  • Allow them to see at the materials used so they can also explore how the materials might’ve causes such results.
  • If time allows, have the students try and recreate more geodes with different amounts of the materials to see how that affects the results!
  • Have them create concrete theories and take those into consideration during the Explain!

Image result for egg geode

Explain:

  • Begin by having the class come up with their own definitions for crystals and crystalline structures. From there, a mini-lecture would be in place to explain crystals and their different kinds of shapes.
  • Also, introduce how they’re formed in the real world and provide pictures of real crystals in caves!

Elaborate:

  • Have the students break off into teams and have each team pic a specific type of crystal or cave to research.
  • Then, have each group create a poster stating the cave, type(s) of crystals found, location around the world, and the crystalline shapes they examined. Follow with each group doing a mini presentation to the class.
  • If the students have access to actual crystals, this would be perfect to include with the poster presentation!

Evaluate:

  • Throughout the course of these activities, an exit slip is a perfect way to keep track of what your students are learning and are understanding. Since the geode activity itself takes 2 days, this is a great way to keep progress.
  • After the unit on minerals and crystalline structures, a unit test could be given!

Image result for crystals

This learning cycle centered around the egg geodes reaches students interested in geology, chemical reactions, and those who are artistic! An activity like this is perfect for the science classroom and lets the students lead their learning with the creative aspects of color and amount of materials. Even the teacher could thoroughly enjoy this!

 

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12 Responses to Geology STE(A)M Activity

  1. kopackka says:

    Claire,

    Thank you! I would ask them what they think would happen but also ask them ‘why’ because they would have to use some of their background knowledge and relate different ideas to one another. I think that by asking them “Why do you think…” makes them think deeper rather than just memorizing terms and processes. Knowing why is an important piece in any science lesson!
    Kacey

  2. kopackka says:

    Thank You! I had planned to have the students create their own definitions and ideas of what processes are occurring then from there go into what is actually happening and the real terms. I think that having them create their definitions keeps them engaged and makes them think critically about the topic.

    Kacey

  3. kopackka says:

    Delaina,
    Thank you! I also love geology so this seemed like a perfect activity for the earth science classroom. I also thought it would be super hands-on yet would keep that mystery factor alive that students love. I think that it keeps them on their toes and engaged. I also wanted to define STEAM since that was the main focus of the activity!
    Kacey

  4. kopackka says:

    Thank You! I think that I would give a bit of foreshadowing while setting up the reaction. But I also want to keep it a mystery. I would most likely have them wonder what would happen rather me telling them that it has to do with minerals because it might give it away.

    Kacey

  5. kopackka says:

    Micheal

    Thank you! I like your idea of the students creating their own hypotheses as well. I think that a research project could also be a great way to assess the students in this topic area because it allows students to see real examples and understand minerals and crystals even more!

    Kacey

  6. kopackka says:

    I thought the same thing when I saw the video! And I thought it was a perfect activity since it crosses so many different fields of science that might interest all different kinds of students.

    Kacey

  7. moehriwj says:

    At no point in the demonstration video did I know what was going to happen next. With kids in science class, keeping them on their toes is a good thing! I especially like that, as you mentioned, this activity will bring in kids who are interested in different aspects of science. Geology, biology, and chemistry are all involved here!

  8. seballmd says:

    Kacey

    This is such a fantastic idea! It looks so cool, I want to do it right now. I loved what you said in “engage”. Not only should you let your students wonder what will happen, but you should have them make a hypothesis about what will happen to their egg. The different colors and formations the eggs will create will definitely allow students to be more actively engaged in this lesson, too. Other than an exit slip, what other ways could you have your students be evaluated to show what they learned?

  9. haiberm says:

    I really like this lesson! I think you did a great job of incorporating all of the elements of STEAM into it. I actually really like that this lesson takes place over a couple days. I think its good to have the students think overnight about what might happen. Do you have a specific way you would introduce this topic besides just getting the reaction started? Great post!!

  10. mattaldt says:

    Hello Kasey!
    The word geology in your title got my attention! Geology is awesome! I have seen this experiment before. If I had a chemistry class or earth science class, we would definately be doing this activity. You did an awesome job explaining it also. It is cool to do the experiment, but I am glad that you also have ways in which the students could learn about crystalline structures in caves. I like your video. There are awesome videos online about this subject. I don’t think I have ever tried something like this. I heard of it being done in chemistry classrooms, which makes me excited. It is a great combination of art and science. Students can make whatever color crystal that they want and if I recall, the main ingredient is borax! That is easy to find. I wanted to do this as a STEM activity in class as well. Excellent post! I like how you defined STE(A)M. That is an important piece of this. Maybe you could ask Dr. Ann if you could do this in class with us one time! It is worth a shot! Awesome job!

    Delaina (:

  11. chastebm says:

    Kacey, I would like to say how much I enjoyed the learning cycle that you have created. I also love all the pictures that you used throughout your blog post. It really brought all the activities to life. I also must say how much I enjoyed the STEAM activity that you decided on. Personally, I thought this was one of the coolest STEAM activities that I have seen. The egg geodes are so colorful which I know the students will love. I also like that every student gets to complete their own egg geode. I also really like how you were changing the explore to test how the different materials used effect the results. For the elaborate I also liked how you had students break into teams to research a different type of crystal or cave. For the explain will you be teaching the mini-lecture, or will the students be making their own definitions to explain crystals and their different kinds of shapes? Overall great post!

  12. creighcl says:

    Kacey,

    I really loved your activity! At the end when you mentioned the different types of people that this could interest, I really appreciated how kept in mind the artistic people who might not like science. For your engage and explore parts of the lesson, what other types of questions would you ask your students to get them to a higher level of thinking? Loved the activity and the ideas for a lesson!

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