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Third grade Rockhounds split a Geode! November 14, 2008

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting units in science is the study of Rocks and Minerals.  All grade 3 students in Burlington become  rock and  mineral experts.  One of their favorite activities is to watch a Geode being split in half by a Diamond Blade Rock Saw.


Francis Wyman student displaying un-cut geode

The Burlington Science Center is lucky enough to own a really “neat” rock saw!  The saw has diamond chips on the blade and spins through water in order to keep things cool as the geode is being cut.

Diamond blade rock saw cutting the geode.

Diamond blade rock saw cutting the geode.

The fascinating thing about Geodes is that no one has any idea what is inside the spherical hunk of rock! One theory of how they are created is:  Geodes begin as bubbles in volcanic rock as it cools.  Sometimes they can also form in Sedimentary Rock where an animal once made a hole or even where a mud ball formed.  Over thousands of years, water seeps through the air bubble and deposits crystals of minerals like quartz.  The crystals keep building up in the bubble and over time create a beautiful design.  The only way to determine what is inside the geode is to either smash it open with a large hammer or cut it in half with a diamond rock saw.  The secret is trapped in the rock for thousands of years!


Francis Wyman student displays beautiful geode

We hope that some Burlington students will have the opportunity to hunt for their very own geodes on a family vacation.  To learn more about Geodes, you can visit:  www.desertusa.com.  You can also buy pre-cut Geodes online.


1. Kelly - July 6, 2009

I’ve just found a blue and orange geode.I know this because it shows a tiny slit through the surface. How should I break this open without chopping it into a million pieces? I was thinking right next to the slit with a hammer.

bsciencecenter - September 10, 2009

Hi there..you can bring it to the Science Center if you are close by and we can cut it for you (if you haven’e already)….

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