Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Rockhounds Abound

As a kid, I was a "rock star." Kind of! I wasn't into the traditional rock and roll music of the 1970s. (I was probably more of a fan of what's now called "Easy Listening" versus "Classic Rock.") But in 4th grade, I was definitely a fan of rocks. I knew them all and could tell you if they were igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic. I'd hunt our rock bed that surrounded the shrubbery in the front yard and dig up some finds, then go talk rocks with my chemical engineer dad. I had a bit of a collection and I remember going to the gem and mineral shows every now and then on Saturday afternoon outings. 

Riverbeds by streams? My eyes still constantly search for the perfect rock skipping stone. My dad could skip them like a champ. My son is following in his footsteps well.

Yes, I was (and maybe still am) a bit of a rockhound.

In the vein of Plant Snap and Cornell's Merlin bird app, there are also apps out there for rock collectors. 

I ran across an advertisement for Rock Identifier: Stone ID and it brought back these memories. When I came here to write about it, I discovered upon looking it up that it seems like there's a few apps out there that satisfy the same need for rock identification. The Educational App Store has write ups for 6 apps (including the one I mentioned above) for you to find the one that best serves yours or your classroom needs. Their reviews include the following apps:
  • Stone Identifier Rock Scanner Rock Identifier
  • Rock Identifier: Stone ID
  • Geology Toolkit 
  • Minerals guide: Rocks, Crystals & Gemstones
  • Geology Rocks – Handbook of Rocks
  • Rockcheck
I also did run across this video analyzing some of the popular apps. This helps give some more details to those visual folks out there. I found it fascinating watching "Agate Ariel" and her predictions, and her expertise too. She has a follow up video to the one below that goes more old school and talks about how she identifies rocks (without an app). She has a pretty extensive YouTube channel (with 3.6K followers!) with other informative videos as well.

Whether you decide to use tech and an app mentioned above or go old school like Agate Ariel, what a great way to get outside, go on a quest, cure that nature deficit disorder, and do a bit of rockhounding yourself!

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