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Rocks & Minerals

Division: Div B – Middle School

Event Rules: See the National rules manual

National Event Page: HERE

Required Materials: Something to write with



There is a formatting error in the event rules in Column 2, Lines 26 & 27 where text was needlessly indented as Willemite and Zircon are not members of the Tourmaline Group.

The Tourmaline Group has a footnote is because Tourmaline is its own mineral AND a group, there are some common minerals in the Tourmaline Group like Schorl and Elbaite.

Under Plagioclase Feldspars there should be Anorthite. It is one of the most common rock bearing minerals in the entire world. It is something students will prep for especially with “feldspar ternary diagrams” as a topic in a different section. In fact, the ternary diagram is described by % anorthite (%An).


This event is usually done as stations that teams rotate through. It can also be done as an individual test taking event, where each station has been copied into a test for the team.  Teams may be viewing any combination of samples, pictures, or recorded/written descriptions. They will then be asked to answer questions (multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, generating graphs or charts, etc) about the sample, including identification, classification by properties, origin, uses and importance. Teams may be asked multiple questions at each station.


Teams MUST bring a writing instrument. Teams may also bring one magnifying glass and one 3-ring binder (any size) containing information in any form from any source. The materials must be 3-hole punched and inserted into the rings (sheet protectors are allowed). Teams can also bring a field guide and the rocks and minerals list!


High score wins. Predetermined questions will be used to break ties.

Common Mistakes:



-Check out this link to find a Rocks and Minerals club near you

-As part of their outreach, the NCSU Mineral Research Lab located in Asheville will send you a free rocks kit if you are a NC teacher. Go to their website and fill out the form, and they will get one in the mail to you as soon as they are able.

Event Resources:

2018 Specimen List
NC State GeoSciences YouTube channel.  Lots of great information on this channel!
Mineral Information Institute (Great website with lesson plans, student help, information, pictures, and more)
University of Texas Geology (introduction and explanation of mineral properties)
Mineralogy Database
NASA – Rocking the Rock Cycle
Chocolate Rock Cycle Lab
Helpful Quizzes
Scholastic website: interactive lessons with the different types of rocks and minerals as well as the rock cycle: