Showing posts with label Geology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geology. Show all posts

Thursday, September 25, 2014


We just learned about the element of Sulfur

Another interesting element is called Titanium

Titanium is a very hard metal, that is not very heavy.
Because of this it is very good for use in things like spaceships that need to be very light.

It is not magnetic, and does not carry heat or electricity very well.

(from: wikipedia - titanium)

The scientist who discovered titanium named it after the old Greek stories of Titans who were giants with great strength.

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lava

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Sulfur is a chemical found on our planet that has many uses.

It burns very well, so the chemical on the end of a match stick is sulfur.

Sulfur is also very smelly, and smells like rotten eggs. It is the smell in skunk spray that makes it so bad!

(from: wikipedia - sulfur)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: LEDs

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Potassium is another metal that is found on the earth.
It is very soft, and can easily be cut with a knife.

If you put potassium in a glass of water, it will make a big explosion!

When the potassium is in the water, it mixes up with hydrogen and oxygen.
As it is mixing together, the chemicals let off a lot of heat.
With all that heat, some of the hydrogen gas lights on fire, and then it goes kaboom!

We have potassium in our bodies, but it's not the same as the potassium metal that explodes.
It's sort of like what's left from the mixed up potassium after the big explosion, so it's safe.
(from: wikipedia - potassium)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Photons

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Corundum is a type of gem stone that can be many different colors, red, yellow, pink-orange, green or blue.

If the corundum is red, it is called a ruby. Otherwise it is called a sapphire.

Corundum is very hard and rough, is sometimes used on sandpaper or on large cutting machines.
(from: wikipedia - corundum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Diode

Thursday, August 21, 2014


We just learned about the element of Magnesium.

When you drink milk, did you know that you're also drinking some metal?
Calcium is a healthy ingredient found in milk, that helps us have strong bones and teeth.
You can't tell that it's metal because there's only a tiny bit of calcium in there, so little you can't even see it.

Calcium all by itself is a shiny gray colored metal.
(from: wikipedia - calcium)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Doping Semiconductors

Thursday, August 14, 2014


We just learned about the element Obsidian

Another element is called Magnesium.

Magnesium is a metal that is very common on our planet.
It is also in our bodies, and is used a lot to help plants grow.

One of the most interesting things about magnesium is that you can light it on fire.
It can even stay burning if it is underwater!

Since it burns so well, it is used a lot in fireworks, and even the metal sparklers that you light up for the 4th of July.
(from: wikipedia - magnesium)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Anode and Cathode

Thursday, August 7, 2014


We just learned about the metalloid semiconductor called Silicon.

Another type of element is Obsidian.

Obsidian is a dark black glassy igneous rock that is made from lava.

(from: wikipedia - obsidian)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Electrodes

Thursday, July 31, 2014


We just learned about the metal Silver

Silicon is a type of rock that is kind of like a metal and kind of not.
The words for rocks like that is metalloid.

We learned before that silicon is a semiconductor which means it is ok but not great at letting electricity go through it.
(from: wikipedia - silicon)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Superconductor

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Silver, like gold is a very valuable metal that people use for jewelry.

It is the best metal at letting electricity go through it, and letting heat pass through it.
Silver is also sometimes used in teeth to fill in areas where dentists drilled out parts of teeth.

Unlike gold, silver does need to be polished to stay shiny. When silver gets dirty it is called getting tarnished.
(from: wikipedia - silver)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Semiconductors

Thursday, July 17, 2014


We just learned about the weird liquid metal called Mercury

Gold is a very valuable metal, and we use it a lot in jewelry because it is shiny and pretty.

One of the reasons it works so well in jewelry is because it is the most malleable of all metal.
That means you can smash it with a hammer and it won't break into pieces, it will just flatten or change shape, kind of like a really hard piece of clay.

Gold also does not change when it is out in the air or when it gets wet, like the way that copper turns green unless it is polished all the time.

It is also a very good conductor of electricity, so it is used in computers and circuits a lot.

Because gold has so many uses and is so pretty, it has been used as money in the past.
People still will pay lots of money for gold no matter where in the world you are.
(from: wikipedia - gold)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Electrical Conductivity

Thursday, July 10, 2014


When we think of metals, we think of heavy hard things, like iron or copper.
Those are all solid metals.

Mercury is a very special metal that is a liquid at normal temperatures!

All metals can be melted down to be liquid if they get hot enough.
The temperature they turn to liquid at is called their melting point.
Most metals have to get very hot to turn to liquid, like iron needs to be 2,800 degrees F.

Mercury stays liquid at normal room temperature, and won't turn into a solid until it gets super cold -37 degrees F.

(from: wikipedia - mercury)

Another interesting thing about mercury being a liquid, is that some metals are lighter than mercury, and the metal can actually float on top of the liquid.
metal coin floating on mercury
(from: wikipedia - mercury)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Capacitors

Thursday, July 3, 2014


We just learned about the metal element Lead

Another metal element is Copper.

Copper is a shiny red-orange colored metal that has been used for a long time as a metal for making tools, weapons, and even roofs.

Even though eating metal sounds like a weird thing, there are traces of copper in some foods that are required for your body to be healthy.

(from: wikipedia - copper)

When copper is outside for a long time, it turns green!
Probably the most famous thing made of copper in the USA is the Statue of Liberty. When the statue was first created out of copper metal, it was a shiny red-orange color, but through the years the copper has turned to the green color we see today.
copper statue of liberty
(from: wikipedia - statue of liberty)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Resistors

Thursday, June 26, 2014


We just learned about the element sodium that is part of what we call salt.

Lead is another type of metal found in the earth.

Just like graphite lead can be used to write on things.
It is also easy to work with and make into things like pipes, so for a very long time many water pipes were made out of lead.
Lead was also used to make paint for a long time.

People have now learned that lead can be poisonous to people, so we have stopped using lead for pipes or paint.

(from: wikipedia - lead)

Lead is still used today to help protect us from radiation. When you get an X-Ray at the dentist's office or a doctor's office, they sometimes put a big heavy apron on you. Inside the apron is lead, protecting you from the X-Rays.

Lead is a very heavy atom, so it can stop any bad radiation from getting to your body.
lead shielding
(from: wikipedia - lead)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Circuit Board

Thursday, June 19, 2014


We just learned about the metal element called Aluminum

Another important element is Sodium.

The salt that we put in our food is sometimes called sodium.

Sodium is one of the main chemical elements, the building blocks that make up our world.

But the salt we eat is actually sodium mixed up with chlorine.

Sodium by itself is a solid shiny metal.
(from: wikipedia - sodium)

And chlorine by itself is a yellow gas.
(from: wikipedia - chlorine)

When they are combined together, they make sodium chloride the salt we eat.
sodium chloride
(from: wikipedia - sodium chloride)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Periodic Table

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Another type of metal like iron is aluminum.

Even though aluminum looks like a strong metal, it is very light and easy to bend.

(from: wikipedia - aluminum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Atomic Number

Thursday, June 5, 2014


We just learned about the shiny black rock Graphite

Another cool type of element is Iron.

Iron is a very common mineral found throughout the earth, and it is used in many types of metal things.

Because it is such a useful metal, it is mined throughout the world.
(from: wikipedia - iron)

When combined with other types of minerals like carbon, it can become stronger.
When two minerals are combined like that it is called an alloy.
With the right type of carbon and iron, you can make the super strong metal steel.

steel wire
(from: wikipedia - steel)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Chemical Elements

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Graphite is a dark shiny black rock.
One interesting thing about graphite is that if you look at what it's made of, it's the exact same as a diamond.
The difference is that the diamond was squished and heated up for a long long time.

(from: wikipedia - graphite)

Graphite also comes off if you rub the rock on something.
The dark part of the pencils that you write with is graphite.
graphite pencil
(from: wikipedia - graphite)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Molecules

Thursday, May 22, 2014


We just learned about Quartz.

A Diamond is the hardest natural mineral in the world.

Diamonds are usually formed deep down in the earth about 100 miles, where it is super hot and the chemicals are squeezed very hard until they form the diamond.
(from: wikipedia - diamond)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ions

Thursday, May 15, 2014


We just learned that the most common mineral on the earth is feldspar.

The second most common type of mineral on the earth is called quartz.
Quartz is a very shiny type of crystal, and the different colors of quartz are used in jewelry a lot.

Another special thing about quartz is that if you squeeze it very hard, it will release electricity,
and if you zap it with electricity it will change shape.

Because of this special ability, scientists figured out a way to use quartz to make clocks that are very good at telling time.
They could zap a quartz crystal, look at how long it took to turn back to it's shape, then use that measurement of time to make sure the clock was correct.
(from: wikipedia - quartz)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mass

Thursday, May 8, 2014


We just learned about Pyrite.

The most common type of mineral on the earth is called feldspar.

The word feldspar comes from the German language and means "field rock that does not have ore".
Ore is something in rocks that can be used to make metal.

Over half of the earth's crust is made up of feldspar.
The crust is the outer part of the planet earth.
(from: wikipedia - feldspar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Earth's Gravity