NC Science Olympiad
2017 Rocks and Minerals
Division: B - Middle School
C - High School
NC Essential Standards Alignment:  
Official Event Rules: See National Rules Manual
Official Rocks and Minerals List 2017 Official Rocks and Minerals List
National Event Page: Rocks and Minerals
Description: 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.

Materials: 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)

Event Leaders will provide any specimens/materials required to complete the stations, the official test and answer sheet.

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


  • -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:
2016 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2017 Rules)
University of Missouri eThemes - Classroom activities for Rocks and Minerals
40 Common Minerals GREAT resource
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
See the help page for the Elementary version of this event, with more resources
The Tar Heel Gem and Mineral Club was formed in 1974 as a nonprofit educational organization for people who enjoy the lapidary arts, earth sciences, and related subjects. The main objectives of the club are to investigate, preserve, and share knowledge of rocks, minerals, and precious stones, and to promote interest in mineralogy, paleontology, earth sciences, and lapidary techniques, among club members and among the general public. The club pursues these goals through publications, meetings, lectures, field trips, exhibits, demonstrations, and other activities.
Great Lakes GeoScience - Run by a retired Earth Science teacher who owns a business that sells/packages rocks and minerals for educators. He has created a very nice kit and sells individual rocks/minerals based on the 2012 rocks/minerals list. The specimens are student friendly (large enough to see physical characteristics) and in individual clear bags with descriptive labels. Each item is $.50 plus shipping. Educators can purchase the whole list or buy individual pieces to finish out their list.
Wright Center for Science Education Sample Events

You are invited to download a free Coaches Guide to Rocks and Minerals posted on Simply go to the web site and choose the 'Rocks and Minerals" option listed under the pull-down menu item 'Shop.' Scroll down to the informational note located beneath the BBB Logo and follow the directions provided.

The material on this website is property of North Carolina Science Olympiad.