Category: Planet Earth. Last updated June 20, 2023.

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It’s true—chemistry really rocks! Explore the science of rocks and minerals with these demonstrations, activities, and articles. Build your own volcano in a cup, design and eat a soil profile, grow beautiful crystals, and more.


  1. Activities
  2. Demos
  3. Labs
  4. Articles
  5. Videos


  • Investigating the Chemistry Under Your School from AACT
    Investigate the earth chemistry under your school by examining what rocks or other materials are found there use geological maps. Also, determine how the rocks are affected by surface conditions, like the weather.
  • Paint with Soil! From Soil Science Society of America
    The ground beneath your feet can yield unusual materials for showing your artistic side.
  • Dirt Shirts from Dr. Dirt K-12 Teaching Resources
    It’s one time you won’t mind getting dirt on your shirt. Explore the use of soil as a natural dye.


  • Great Glaciers from Flinn Scientific
    No need to wait years and years to observe a glacier. Pop this simulated glacier next to a sunny window and watch its effects on rocky soil.
  • Water Hardness from Steam Experiments
    Understand water hardness and the role of soap in distinguishing hard from soft water as well as water hardness can be removed.


  • How do Sinkholes Form? from AACT
    Sinkholes form when eroded limestone underneath the surface of the earth can no longer support the ground above it. Test how acid reacts with a variety of rocks and determine which rocks would be best to build a city on top of in order to reduce the chance of sinkholes forming.
  • Chemical Weathering in Geology from AACT
    Explore the differences between erosion, weathering and chemical weathering. complete a lab experiment that simulates chemical weathering on 4 different types of rocks and learn how to use the Mohs Hardness Test to analyze the results.
  • Test Tube Geology from AACT
    Observe a reaction between an iron nail and copper(II) sulfate in a test tube over the course of several days, modeling how a similar reaction occurs to form copper deposits in the earth.
  • Mineral Investigation from AACT
    Put your problem solving skills to work to determine how many specific samples of ore can be made from a lode equivalent to the size of your chemistry classroom.


  • Why a Pennsylvania Town has been Burning for 60 Years from ChemMatters Magazine
    At its peak, the former coal town of Centralia, Pa., was home to about 2,000 residents. But a dangerous fire started in an old mine, putting lives at risk. Condemned in the ’90s, the ghost town is still on fire.
  • Volcanoes: Terror from Below from ChemMatters Magazine
    Volcanoes are a spectacular and terrifying example of nature’s might. But what we know about them can help us predict their eruptions—and save lives.
  • Crystal Caves from ChemMatters Magazine
    Natural crystals of mind-blowing proportions have captivated scientists since their discovery in a Mexican cave 20 years ago. Researchers have unlocked the secrets of the crystals’ past, and now work to secure their future.
  • Sinkholes: Chemistry Goes Deep from ChemMatters Magazine
    The ground swallowing a house or a car sounds like science fiction. Learn about the frightening reality.


  • Why this Town has been on Fire for 50 years from ACS Reactions
    In 1962, an underground fire started in the coal-mining town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. That fire still burns. Let’s explain the history and science behind the Centralia mine fire. Does anyone still live there? How could the fire keep burning for so long, and why hasn’t it been extinguished?