for Summer 2004
Last Fall and
Early Winter Programs
Rocks / Rock Hounds
|Last summer at
Hounds program everyone went home with a
small collection of rocks and minerals that they found themselves.
Children searched for rocks in our
"garden," washed rocks for their collections, sifted for
treasures, panned for gold, and glued their discoveries to name
This spring, our Rocks program
will include many of the same activities -- especially if the
weather is warm and dry enough that we can set up outside!
Last summer, most activities took place on the sidewalk and grass by the front door.
Washed rocks (variations for
2 years and up) Learn more
Sifted sand for buried
rocks (best for 3-year-olds and other children who don’t put
rocks in their mouths) Learn
Panned for gold, copper, and
fools’ gold (best for ages 6 and up)
in the Rock Hounds’ “garden” (appropriate for any
children who don’t put rocks in their mouths)
supplied plastic bags to hold their discoveries. Some
children made their rocks into a real collection by gluing them to name
cards (best for ages 5 and up) Learn
|We've got a
bucket of very dirty rocks. If you help us wash them,
you'll discover nice pieces of quartz,
and feldspar -- the three minerals that form the rock called pegmatite.
(Click on the underlined names to learn more.)
The rocks that you wash can be added to
Younger children can spray and scrub
some larger rocks (rocks that are way to big to fit
into small mouths).
|There are treasures hidden in our
pools of water and white sand. If you carefully sift the
sands, you might find nuggets of copper and bits of fool's
gold. You can add your best finds to your collection.
|Some treasures are much too small to sift
for, including real gold dust that's buried in the sand.
To find the gold, you have to pan for it
-- just like prospectors have done for more than 100 years.
During Rock Hounds, we'll teach you how to pan. When
you're done, you'll find real gold dust (just like in the
To make it look bigger, we'll put your
gold dust in a tiny glass jar.
gold will be mixed with:
- white quartz sand
- black magnetite sand
- maybe some bits of silvery-yellow pyrite (also
called fool's gold) or copper (the color of a shiny penny).
You can learn more about gold by
downloading this pamphlet from the U.S. Geological Survey
(requires Adobe Acrobat, written for adults and older
|In the Rock
Hounds' Garden, we've got rocks
and not much else. That makes it the perfect place to
find rocks for your collection.
Our garden contains "decorative
landscape stone" bought at local stores. In early
July, it included brown
rock, salt-and-pepper granite, and something we call
The Wonder Works Rock Hounds' Garden is a
smaller version of the garden described on this Web page:
If you look near the middle of the page, you can find out which local
stores carry these types of rock.
you've searched in the garden, washed some rocks, and sifted
and panned some sand, you can step inside the air-conditioned
museum building to cool off.
As you cool off, you can complete your
rock collection by gluing your discoveries to name cards.
If you need help identifying your rocks, you can
go to this Web page:
If you need some extra name cards, you can try
downloading this Word2000 file and printing it on cardstock:
Name Cards for Rock Hounds'
If that doesn't work, e-mail us at
and we'll find another way to get you this file.