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Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure for 2024

This for the 2024 program year Cub Scout updates. This new program takes effect on June 1, 2024. See more details about the overall program updates here.

The Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure is a great way for Cub Scouts to dive into the world of geology. In this adventure, Webelos get hands-on experience with different types of rocks and minerals. They learn about the Earth’s layers and how rocks change over time. This activity is not just about collecting rocks; it’s about understanding our planet better.

Webelos Earth Rocks Pin

By participating in the Earth Rocks! Adventure, Webelos develop important science skills. They observe, test, and discuss findings like real scientists. These activities make science fun and accessible. They also help scouts develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This Earth Rocks! adventure is part of the STEM program in Cub Scouts, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through adventures like Earth Rocks!, Webelos explore these areas in a practical and engaging way. This prepares them for more complex concepts in future educational and scouting activities.

Overall, the Earth Rocks! Adventure offers Cub Scouts a unique opportunity to explore nature and science together. They not only gain knowledge about geology but also learn valuable skills that can be used in other areas of their lives. It’s a fun and educational experience that encourages curiosity and respect for the natural world.

Requirements for the Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure

Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure Requirements

  1. Examine the 3 types of rocks, sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.
  2. Find a rock, safely break it apart and examine it.
  3. Make a mineral test kit, and test minerals according to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Using the Rock Cycle chart or one like it, discuss how hardness determines which materials can be used in homes, landscapes, or for recreation. 
  4. Grow a crystal.

Resources for the Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure

Safety Resources

Before any activity, check the SAFE Checklist to make sure everyone is safe. Everyone involved in Scouting America activities should know the Guide to Safe Scouting and other relevant guides or books. Also follow any state or local rules that are more strict than Scouting America rules and guidelines.

Rock Types

Rocks are all around us, forming the ground we walk on and the mountains we see. In the Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure, scouts learn about three main types of rocks: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. Each type of rock is formed in a different way and has its own unique features.

  • Sedimentary Rocks: These rocks are made from pieces of other rocks, sand, or even shells. Over time, these materials pile up in layers and harden into rock. Examples include sandstone and limestone, which can often be seen in cliff faces or canyons.
  • Igneous Rocks: Formed from cooled lava or magma, these rocks can be found where volcanoes are present. When lava cools quickly, it turns into rocks like basalt. If it cools slowly, it becomes granite, which is often used in countertops.
  • Metamorphic Rocks: These rocks start as one type and change into another under great heat and pressure inside the Earth. Slate, which is used in roofing, and marble, used in sculptures and buildings, are examples of metamorphic rocks.

By examining these rocks for the Earth Rocks! adventure, Webelos gain a better understanding of the Earth’s surface and the natural processes that shape our world.

What’s Inside a Rock

Finding and breaking apart a rock is an exciting way to see what’s inside. This activity helps Webelos learn more about the structure and composition of rocks. It’s important to do this safely and responsibly.

  • Choose the Right Rock: Find a rock that is not too large; something you can easily hold in your hand is perfect.
  • Wear Safety Gear: Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying pieces. Gloves are also a good idea to protect your hands.
  • Use the Right Tools: Use a light hammer and a chisel to gently tap on the rock. Don’t hit it too hard, as the goal is to carefully break it open, not smash it into powder.
  • Examine the Pieces: Look at the broken pieces with a magnifying glass. Notice any grains, crystals, or layers in the rock.

By carefully breaking open and examining rocks, Webelos get a closer look at the materials that make up our Earth. This hands-on Earth Rocks! experience is a great way to make learning about geology interactive and fun.

Testing Mineral Hardness

Understanding mineral hardness helps us know how durable materials are and where they can be used effectively. In the Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure, scouts make a mineral test kit and use the Mohs scale to test hardness. This scale ranks minerals from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest).

To make a mineral test kit for the Mohs scale, you will need a few simple materials. First, you will need some minerals to test. You can use rocks from your rock hunt or buy a mineral kit from a store. Next, you will need a few items to test the minerals. To test the hardness of a mineral using the Mohs scale, you need to scratch the mineral’s surface with a mineral or object of a known hardness. You can use items like a nail, a penny, a glass plate, and a steel file.

Here’s how to test for each level:

  1. Talc: Use your fingernail to scratch the mineral. At this level, your fingernail easily leaves a mark.
  2. Gypsum: Use your fingernail to scratch the mineral. Your fingernail barely leaves a mark.
  3. Calcite: Use a copper penny to scratch the mineral. If it barely leaves a mark, the mineral is softer than calcite.
  4. Fluorite: Use a knife or a file to scratch the mineral. You easily make a mark with one of these items.
  5. Apatite: Use a knife or a file to scratch the mineral. You barely make a mark at this level.
  6. Orthoclase feldspar: Use a piece of glass to scratch the mineral. If the knife or file doesn’t leave a mark, but the glass does then you are at this level.
  7. Quartz: Use a piece of quartz to scratch the mineral. If it leaves a mark, the mineral is softer than quartz.
  8. Topaz: Use a piece of topaz to scratch the mineral. If it leaves a mark, the mineral is softer than topaz.
  9. Corundum: Scratch a piece of topaz with the mineral. If it leaves a mark on the topaz, the mineral is at this level.
  10. Diamond: Use a diamond to scratch the mineral. If it leaves a mark, the mineral is softer than diamond.

Using the rock cycle chart, discuss how the hardness of these materials affects their use in everyday life. For example, softer minerals may be used in landscaping because they wear down easily, while harder minerals are better for countertops in homes because they resist scratching.

This Earth Rocks! activity teaches about mineral properties and encourages critical thinking about how these properties are relevant in various applications.

Growing Your Own Crystals

Growing crystals is a fun and educational activity that shows how minerals form in nature. In the Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure, scouts get a chance to observe this fascinating process up close. This project helps them understand more about how crystals grow from solutions and gives them a real-world example of mineral formation.

Here are simple steps to grow your own crystal:

  1. Gather Materials: You will need water, a pot for boiling, borax (found in the laundry aisle), a spoon, a jar, and a pipe cleaner.
  2. Prepare the Solution: Heat 2 cups water until hot. Add 1/4 cup borax and stir until the borax is completely dissolved. This makes a saturated solution, which is necessary for crystal growth.
  3. Set Up Your Crystal Growing Jar: Wrap one end of the pipe cleaner around a pencil. Place the pencil across the top of the jar so pipe cleaner is hanging nearly to the bottom.
  4. Start the Crystal Formation: Carefully pour the hot borax solution into the jar. Make sure the pipe cleaner is submerged and not touching the sides of the jar.
  5. Wait and Watch: Leave the jar in a place where it won’t be disturbed. Over the next few days, crystals will begin to form along the string. The cooler the solution becomes, the more crystals will grow.

Through this Earth Rocks! activity, Webelos can see the beauty and complexity of natural processes. It’s a hands-on way to connect science with the real world and spark curiosity in young minds.

Soil Sample Cupcakes Recipe: Webelos will love making these colorful cupcakes and taking soil samples with their straws, while also learning about core samples used by geologists in research.

How to Grow a Sugar Crystal: This is another easy option for growing a crystal for Earth Rocks! requirement 4.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure

Where can I find different types of rocks?

Check local parks, nature trails, or your own backyard. Always make sure you have permission to take rocks from the area.

How do I make a mineral test kit?

Collect items of known hardness such as a fingernail, a copper penny, a piece of glass, and a steel file. Use these to scratch test minerals to determine their hardness. See more information here.

Is it safe to break rocks?

Yes, but you must wear safety goggles to protect your eyes and be careful with the tools you use. Always have an adult supervise when breaking rocks.

How long does it take to grow a crystal?

It usually starts forming in a few days, but the longer you leave it, the bigger it can grow. It could take a few weeks to see a large crystal.

Rock Solid Fun

The Webelos Earth Rocks! Adventure is an engaging way for Cub Scouts to explore the fascinating world of geology. This adventure helps scouts learn about different types of rocks, how to safely break them apart, and the natural processes that form minerals and crystals.

First, scouts examine the three main types of rocks: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. They learn how each rock is formed and where it can be found in nature. This provides a practical understanding of the earth’s crust and the variety of materials it holds.

Next, scouts take a hands-on approach by finding and safely breaking rocks. This activity encourages careful observation and introduces them to the physical characteristics of rocks. By using tools like hammers and chisels under supervision, they also learn about safety and responsibility.

In another exciting part of the Earth Rocks! adventure, Webelos make their own mineral test kits. They use these kits to explore mineral hardness and discuss the practical applications of different minerals in everyday life, using the Mohs scale of hardness as a guide.

Finally, scouts grow their own crystals from borax, watching how minerals can form in nature. This not only adds to their understanding of geological processes but also brings a sense of accomplishment as they observe the results of their efforts over time.

This Earth Rocks! adventure is a fun and interactive way for Webelos to gain a deeper appreciation of the natural world and the science of geology.


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