Makerspace: Earth

The "Makerspace: Earth" program introduces Kindergarten through 2nd Grade students to the physical materials that build the Planet Earth. Explore some of the activities we do with the school groups and resources we provide to teachers below. 

They are all free for you to use thanks to the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Appalachian State University. If you have questions about any of these resources, field trip opportunities, classroom visits or to request activities for different topics, please our Outreach Coordinator at


Click on the links to display the resource.

  • Introduction to Crystals- These slides can be used at the elementary level to introduce minerals and crystals. Supporting materials can include a variety of crystals (eg. mineral samples as well as sugar, salt and Pop Rocks), and magnifying glasses or loupes. Use this presentation with the Make Your Own Geode activity and handout. 
  • Make your Own Egg Geode- Instructions for making your own geode inside an egg, in class or at home! 
  • Geodes Handout- A simple handout to learn more about how geodes are formed and different kinds. A great follow up or preacivity to Making Your Own Egg Geode.
  • Landscapes- These series of slides are a great introduction to what earth scientists study and the topic of earth materials in general. Students are encouraged to think about the types of questions they could ask themselves as scientists if they were studying each landscape. 
  • From Mountains to Sand- Teacher instructions and template for creating a simple model that will help students understand how mountains turn to sand. 
  • Make a Conglomerate Rock- A hands-on activity to explore conglomerate rocks and how they are made. Best if several different conglomerate rock samples are on hand (contact us if you don't have any!)
  • K-2 Museum Visit Handout- An example of a scavanger-style handout students get during their visit to our facilities. Handouts are adapted according to group size, exhibits on display, lenth of visit, etc.

Standard Alignment:

NCSES 1.E.2 Understand the physical properties of Earth materials that make them useful in different ways.

  • 1.E.2.1 Summarize the physical properties of earth materials, including rocks, minerals, soils and water that make them useful in different ways

makerspace_earth_1.jpgChecking out some neat calcite crystals during a class visit. 

copy_of_img_8607_0.jpgA geology student helps some young vistors in the McKinney Museum. 

Other tips for teachers:

  • Want to borrow some resources such as rock or fossil samples? Check out the loaner kits we have available for free. 
  • Related activities can also be found in the Hard as Rock learning module for K-2.
  • If you are intested in visiting our geology facilities or having a guest speaker in your class, please contact us at