Our GEMS learn about crystals

At the beginning of GEMS this year, the girls wrote one sentence about what they would like to do in GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) and many said “study gems”. Perhaps we did not do a good job explaining what the acronym GEMS meant.  Even so, one week we decided to focus on the topic of crystals.

The science fields of Minerology and Gemology are closely linked which is why we started with crystals. We had two stations and rotated the girls through after they made a GEMS journal which was a handmade “burrito style” book.  After working at the two stations the girls could free write in these journals.  I was so pleased to see the amount of drawing, writing and detail they put into their work.

GEMS journals writing in their new GEMS journals

One station was making their own rock candy.  We watched a youtube video to learn how and then each girl made their own.  We had to be patient and wait until next Saturday to see the results but we can check on them during the school week.

The second station was a “mining” activity.  Last summer my family went to Moat Mountain in NH and picked up rocks with smokey quartz inside.  You can read the blog post from August 21 to find out more about our trip.  The girls took these rocks which were about the size of two adult fists and cracked at them with hammers and chisels to get out some crystals to view with the camera microscope we have.

Moat mountain smokey quartz sample

Moat mountain smokey quartz sample

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