The Arkansas Geological Survey participates in educational outreach activities by visiting schools and leading fieldtrips for students and geology clubs. We provide rock and mineral packets to teachers and the general public, participate in the state teachers’ conference once a year, and answer questions for the public on a daily basis.
"Hands on" activity for Sylvan Hills Students
If you would like to make arrangements for a speaker to come to your school please contact the AGS main office by phone at 501-296-1877 or by email at email@example.com.
The AGS Teachers packet contains materials useful in teaching earth science. Included in the packet are:
To order a teachers packet please call 501-296-1877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration By Gibbs Magnet Student, Little Rock
12-Sample Rock Packets
Rock packets are available for the general public and teachers in Arkansas. Teachers may request classroom sets for use in their classrooms, however we are unable to provide rock packets for the students to take home. This is due to decreasing resources and inventory and increasing costs of shipping the rock packets. We urge teachers to keep the packets in the classroom to use year after year and share with other teachers at their school. Rock packets include color coded samples with description sheet.
Out-of state orders for rock packets can be accepted for a shipping charge of $3.00 per packet paid by credit card through our sales office at (501) 296-1877.
Shale is a sedimentary rock composed predominantly of clay-sized particles. In the Ouachitas it has undergone very low-grade regional metamorphism and therefore geologists prefer the term "slaty shale". Rough and cut blocks were previously used as shingles and for floors, patios, table tops, and interior and exterior covered walkways.
A sedimentary rock that is the principal commercial source of aluminum. It is mined in Saline County and has been mined in Pulaski County.
Naturally rounded stone varying in size. Quartz gravel and sand are commonly used as construction fill, concrete, aggregate, decorative stone, and as glass manufacture and for foundary mold sand. Donated by Sheridan White Rock.
A very soft mineral used in cement, wallboard, and plaster of paris. It is mined in Pike and Howard Counties. Donated by BPB, Ltd.
A clay-rich sedimentary rock used to make ceramics and as filler in rubber, cosmetics and paper. Deposits are known in central and southern Arkansas.
An igneous rock that is the mantle-derived source of diamonds in Arkansas. It occurs near Murfreesboro in Pike County.
A commonly fossiliferous sedimentary rock used as crushed stone and agricultural limestone. It is mined in northern Arkansas. Chalk (a soft variety of limestone) is mined in southwestern Arkansas for cement and as a source of lime. Donated by Midwest Lime Co.
A very hard and brittle sedimentary rock consisting almost entirely of silica. Some of its uses are as oilstones or whetstones, and as a high silica source material. Novaculite is mined in the Ouachita Mountains.
Quartz crystal is popular as mineral specimens. Milky quartz has been used to grow synthetic quartz for electronics. Most Arkansas quartz comes from the Ouachita Mountains. Donated by Ron Coleman Mining.
A sedimentary rock used as rock aggregate. Present in the Paleozoic Highland Region of Arkansas.
An igneous rock used as rock aggregate and roofing granules. Syenite occurs in Pulaski, Saline, Garland, and Hot Spring Counties.
An igneous rock composed of volcanic ash and dust and deposited as sediments. It is used as rock aggregate. Produced in Polk County. Donated by Martin Marrietta Aggregates.
Included in the 2-pack rock packet are small samples of our state rock and mineral:
To order your class set of rock packets please fax or email your request on a school letterhead, Attn. AGS Front Office to 501-663-7360 (fax) or email@example.com.
Check out a Teacher’s Rock and Mineral Kit from your Education Co-op. This kit contains larger hand size samples of rocks and minerals in Arkansas. Or visit the survey at 3815 W Roosevelt Road in Little Rock to get one on loan.
The Arkansas Geological Survey is creating Teaching Kits on various topics to be used as teaching aids in the classroom. Teacher's Rock & Mineral Kits are furnished to the Educational Cooperatives and STEM Centers throughout the state where teachers can check the kits out for loan. Teachers may also contact the Survey for availability of kits for loan at (501)296-1877.
The Arkansas Geological Survey participates with Science Specialists throughout the state to provide instruction through workshops on various topics of earth science. The workshops are written to teach the teacher the science, with the Arkansas Science Curriculum in mind, so that they can take the information back to the classroom. At each workshop a guidebook is provided for the teacher. The workshop booklets have been formatted into our Educational Workshop Series and are available for download. If you have questions or comments on how to make these materials better please contact Angela Chandler at 501-683-0111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This workshop booklet explains the physical properties of minerals and how they are identified. It also explains how igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks are identified and provides tables for identification purposes. Arkansas minerals and rocks are listed in the tables in red.
This workshop introduces the rules and principles involved in dating rock sequences relatively. Unconformities and faults are explained with examples. Several exercises are available at the end of the booklets.
This workshop focuses on the landforms in each physiographic region of the state. A list of landforms is provided for each region showing the quadrangle name for use in the classroom. Topographic map reading skills are covered and exercises are available in the booklet.
This is a 3 hour float with 5 fieldtrip locations starting at Lake Ouachita State Park. At Stop 1 an ancient submarine landslide is exposed in the Blakely Formation. Stop 2 features quartz veins in sandstone at Zebra Rock. Stop 3 includes folding in limestone of the Womble Shale. Stop 4 allows teachers to view a fracture pattern called Checkerboard Rock. An igneous dike is exposed on an island at Stop 5.
This is a three day fieldtrip in the Buffalo National River area. The theme of this workshop is Karst – Old and New. The "old karst" is a reference to paleokarst at the contact of the St. Peter and Everton Formations and paleokarst breccias that host the lead and zinc mineralization. The "new karst" pertains to recent karst features and landforms in the area such as springs and sinkholes. The first day we will look at the historic Rush Mining District. The second day will feature a geologic float trip on the lower end of the Buffalo National River while the third day focuses on karst features along the Indian Rockhouse Trail at Buffalo Point. The following frameworks in Earth and Space Sciences will be addressed.
This is a three day workshop in the Ouachita Mountains near the town of Mena in western Arkansas. The theme of this workshop is mostly mining and minerals. The "more" includes plant fossil collecting and a visit to Cossatot River State Park. The first day of the workshop we will travel north into the Arkansas River Valley to look for plant fossils in a reclaimed coal mining area at Bates. The second day we will visit a local quarry in the Hatton Tuff Member of the Stanley Formation in the morning, then travel to Cossatot River State Park in the afternoon. The third day we will visit cinnabar workings along the Cinnabar Trail at Lake Greeson.
Since we are staying in the town of Mena, very close to Queen Wilhelmina State Park, there is an added fieldtrip and lesson for landforms in this area.
This is a one day workshop that explores karst features on the Springfield Plateau as we travel to Blanchard Springs Caverns to tour the cave.
This is a two day workshop that explores features and fossils on the Boston Mountains Plateau in the Ozark National Forest. The first day of the workshop, we travel to Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area to look at a sandstone bluff that has weathered and erodes to create crevices and pedestals. Next, we move on to scenic Richland Creek to look for fossils. The second day we visit Long Pool Recreation area to look for more fossils.
This is a two-day workshop that explores rock formations and karst features on the upper portion of the Buffalo National River. The first day of the workshop, we travel to Lost Valley to see how a stream has carved an interesting path into the underlying limestone. Next, we look at the relative age of rock layers, an unconformity, and fossils in Ponca Quarry. Finally, we will conduct a gravel bar experiment at Steel Creek on the Buffalo National River. On day two, we hike to Whitaker Point (aka Hawksbill Crag) to see a distinctive sandstone bluff in the Boston Mountains.
Geologic History of Arkansas Through Time and Space
Rock & Mineral Activities
Novaculite Maze: Grades 1 - 3
Rock and Mineral Match-up: Grades 4 - 6
Arkansas Geology Word Search: Grades 6 - 12
Arkansas Geology Crossword Puzzle: Grades 6 - 12
Geology Comprehension Game: Grades 6 - 12
Activities to support
Next Generation Science Standards
We currently have five posters in our Educational Poster Series. The fossil poster displays pictures of fossils that have been found in Arkansas, including invertebrate, vertebrate, plant and trace fossils. This poster also includes text of fossil facts. The mineral poster displays minerals that are present in Arkansas, along with the mineral name and chemical composition. The rock poster includes pictures of rocks classified under three major rock types: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The rock name is displayed in the text under each classification. The physiographic provinces poster displays the five physiographic provinces of Arkansas and lists rocks and landforms characteristic of each provinces. The newest poster displays locations of mined resources in Arkansas.
To receive a free copy of the posters contact the Arkansas Geological Survey (501) 296-1878. Either poster will be folded and mailed via United States Postal Service. If you prefer to receive the poster rolled the cost for shipping is $10. Please indicate which poster you wish to receive. Payments can be accepted over the phone.
GEOLOGY LEARNING CENTER
The Arkansas Geological Survey's Geology Learning Center is located at 1911 Thayer St. in Little Rock. Its purpose is to give students of earth science, of all ages, direct exposure to rocks, minerals, fossils, and fossil fuels in the presence of geologists who are involved every working day with those materials. The Geology Learning Center has a display area that is divided into 4 sections described below.
Economic MineralsA selection of some of the many rocks and minerals used by humans and some of the products obtained from these earth materials. Metal ores from Arkansas currently on display range from A (antimony) to Z (zinc) and nonmetallic raw materials from A (Arkansas Novaculite) to Q (quartz).
Fossil FuelsThis area is devoted to Arkansas's fossil fuels -- petroleum, natural gas, coal and lignite. Information about their occurrence and how they are obtained is provided, and examples of some of the products obtained from them are shown.
Gems and MineralsA selection of some of the many minerals found in Arkansas, including the most valuable-- diamonds. A large natural quartz cavity is set into a diorama of the vein-bearing wall of a local mine. A dark room contains an impressive display of minerals that fluoresce in black (ultra-violet) light.
FossilsFeaturing life-sized models of a dinosaur (Arkansaurus fridayi) and a pterosaur. Also shown are other vertebrate fossils, fossil trees, and some of the many important and fascinating invertebrate fossils found in Arkansas rocks.
For guided visits for schools or other groups, we request that arrangements be made in advance. Adequate parking is available for school buses.
Geology Learning Center
1911 Thayer Street
Little Rock, AR 72202
For more information contact the:
Arkansas Geological Survey
3815 West Roosevelt Rd
Little Rock, AR 72204
Bekki White, Director 2018