As part of the boys’ home education they learned about Geodes with the National Geographic STEM kids from Bandai. Hands-on learning is more effective than just being told things, or just reading, and that is why I was thrilled to be invited to be an ambassador: I previously wrote about their Dig Kits.
Geodes are rounded hollow voids in rocks filled with crystals and other minerals which are typically formed when the lava cools and air bubbles become trapped inside creating empty pockets. Over millions of years mineral-rich water seeps into these pockets which hardened into beautiful crystals. The largest crystals can take a million years to grow, and which minerals end up as crystals in a geode varies by location and conditions such as temperature, acidity, and the type of rock the geode forms
National Geographic Break Open 2 Geodes
To start with the boys familiarised themselves with Geodes utilising the Geode Learning Guide booklet provided. It told them what Geodes are (including their properties); how they are formed; the difference between Geodes and a Nodules; about Concretions and Septarians; Geode Hotspots around the World; How to find Geodes; Types of Geodes – and all beautifully illustrated.
The Geode Instruction booklet has a guide to open a geode and tips. There are several options of how to open the Geode but stresses the importance of safety and patience. With each method the googles provided MUST be worn and that if you hit it hard then you will just end up with lots of little pieces.
National Geographic STEM Contents
- 2 Premium Quality Genuine Geodes
- 1 Pair of Safety Goggles
- 1 Learning Guide and Translations Booklet
- 1 Geode Instructions: Guides & Tips Leaflet
- 1 Magnifying Glass
- 1 Display Stand
How to Open Geodes
Whichever method you use you are going to require a hammer which isn’t provided. Ideally you need a chisel to score the geode and make things more precise, but it isn’t essential. To prevent pieces of rock flying everywhere (particularly for young children) you can place the geode in a sock first (preferably an old one as you don’t want to scratch your feet on pieces of rock afterwards!)
Conclusion of National Geographic Break Open 2 Geodes
The National Geographic Break Open 2 Geodes pack is a great stand-alone learning opportunity or great as part of learning about volcanoes or sedimentary rocks. I like how it comes complete with an illustrated guide so that the experience is educational and not just fun opening the Geodes. I do appreciate that providing a hammer in the box isn’t practical, and that there is a kit list on the outside clearly stating the contents, but it could be clearer that one is required. Saying that a rolling pin or something would make a good substitute.
We found that the first Geode was easy to open using the chisel and hammer method, and easily identified it as having quartz crystals. The second one looked like limestone and was much harder to break open – and it seemed to have clear calcite crystals inside and a dark layer.
Suitable for ages 8+
Visit www.bandai.co.uk for further information.
We received a free National Geographic STEM kids Geodes as part of our role as ambassadors. Words and opinions are honest and my own.