Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

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Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby Jim_R » May 10th, 2011, 7:11 am

Preliminary discussion for Rocks&Minerals.

I've been looking through old tests now, and it looks like the event is all about the Identification part. If you can ID it, you will do great, since almost every question is easily located online, and the few things besides IDing (Bowen reaction series, aging rocks, Mohs scale, rock cycle, etc.) aren't too difficult.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby prelude to death » May 10th, 2011, 4:11 pm

This is actually one of the events I'm looking forward to.... I didn't really care much for Fossils, but I'm sort of excited for Rocks and Minerals. (Sorry if I offended anyone in Fossils...)
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby fmtiger124 » May 10th, 2011, 4:19 pm

In my experience, the thing that appeared most often on tests that wasn't IDing was actually the uses of the various rocks and minerals. I guess that could have to do with how things can vary based on sample (albeit only slightly) if you want to test hardness, fracture/cleavage (sometimes if it's a machine cut rock, it can look like cleavage when it's actually fracture) and such.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby butter side up » May 10th, 2011, 5:19 pm

Is this event done in the same format as fossils is (was)? ie: will it still be a station event, usually with one or two IDs per station and a few questions about the properties/ uses/ formation of the rock or mineral in question? I am probably getting this event next year, and am trying to get a head start.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby quizbowl » May 10th, 2011, 5:54 pm

butter side up wrote:Is this event done in the same format as fossils is (was)? ie: will it still be a station event, usually with one or two IDs per station and a few questions about the properties/ uses/ formation of the rock or mineral in question? I am probably getting this event next year, and am trying to get a head start.

Pretty much - trial rules are online, with a list that will probably be changed little.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby prelude to death » May 10th, 2011, 6:08 pm

quizbowl wrote:
butter side up wrote:Is this event done in the same format as fossils is (was)? ie: will it still be a station event, usually with one or two IDs per station and a few questions about the properties/ uses/ formation of the rock or mineral in question? I am probably getting this event next year, and am trying to get a head start.

Pretty much - trial rules are online, with a list that will probably be changed little.


So is it like... definite that you'll get a field guide AND a three-ring binder? (That's what it says in the Trial Event Rules, but I don't know if that's going to be changed anytime soon.)

Also, binders can be any size, right? So technically (I'm not really going to do this), you could bring in like, a 5 inch binder? Or is it like, only 1 inch or some other size restriction?
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby gneissisnice » May 11th, 2011, 5:21 am

prelude to death wrote:
quizbowl wrote:
butter side up wrote:Is this event done in the same format as fossils is (was)? ie: will it still be a station event, usually with one or two IDs per station and a few questions about the properties/ uses/ formation of the rock or mineral in question? I am probably getting this event next year, and am trying to get a head start.

Pretty much - trial rules are online, with a list that will probably be changed little.


So is it like... definite that you'll get a field guide AND a three-ring binder? (That's what it says in the Trial Event Rules, but I don't know if that's going to be changed anytime soon.)

Also, binders can be any size, right? So technically (I'm not really going to do this), you could bring in like, a 5 inch binder? Or is it like, only 1 inch or some other size restriction?


If it's the same as Fossils (which it probably will be), there's no size restriction on the binder.

The question is, though, why would you want a 5 inch binder in the first place> You really don't need that much information, and it just becomes a pain to find everything you need.

I've done the event tons of times, so here's my experience from the event:

ID is by far the most important thing. Once you ID the sample, most of the information should be in your binder. It's a bit different from Fossils though in that not every sample can be identified on sight. You're gonna have to test hardness and streak at least to be completely sure, unless you've seen so many samples that you can do it without that. Most minerals can be identified with no problem, though you have some pairs of minerals that really resemble each other (epidote and olivine, celestite and barite, bornite and chalcopyrite, etc.).

Tip: in Earth Science class, teachers tell you that color is the worst thing to use to identify. From my experience, it's actually much more useful than any of the others, since you can instantly narrow it down or identify it on sight.

Apart from the ID and property-based questions (hardness, uses, chemical formula,etc.), you'll also see questions on areas of rock and mineral formation, Bowen's Reaction Series (for division C), and you might be asked to find the hardness and/or density of a sample that isn't on your list. They don't go very in depth in mineralogy; I've taken Mineralogy in college and the event barely scratches the surface (which is fine by me, because that would be a bit much to expect kids to learn).

Hope this helps. Rocks and Minerals is my favorite event ever, even more than Fossils. =)
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby prelude to death » May 11th, 2011, 4:54 pm

Thanks, Gneiss.... I was just wondering, because a lot of teachers nowadays are demanding specific binder sizes, and I'm starting to run out of one inch binders, so I was wondering if I could perhaps use a one and a half inch (which I have plenty of at home) instead of going out and buying a new binder for this event. (I'm not really planning to bring a 5 inch binder. That would be terrible....) >.>
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby quizbowl » May 11th, 2011, 5:01 pm

prelude to death wrote:Thanks, Gneiss.... I was just wondering, because a lot of teachers nowadays are demanding specific binder sizes, and I'm starting to run out of one inch binders, so I was wondering if I could perhaps use a one and a half inch (which I have plenty of at home) instead of going out and buying a new binder for this event. (I'm not really planning to bring a 5 inch binder. That would be terrible....) >.>

Don't be so critical of 5 inch binders - I just inherited a 5 inch one that was used at states in '08, and it got 2nd (lost to gneiss XD). It has a lot of great information and all of it is useful.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby prelude to death » May 11th, 2011, 5:42 pm

Wait, so if I do bring a 5 inch binder (on the off chance that I actually find one and decide to use it), I should make a lot of tabs and stuff, right? (And also, for the field guide, are we allowed to write in it? And for tabs, is it a limit of three words per tab like some other event rules I've seen? Sorry that I'm asking so many questions.... I just really want to know about the event because it seems really cool to me.... :) )
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby Luo » May 11th, 2011, 5:45 pm

prelude to death wrote:Wait, so if I do bring a 5 inch binder (on the off chance that I actually find one and decide to use it), I should make a lot of tabs and stuff, right? (And also, for the field guide, are we allowed to write in it? And for tabs, is it a limit of three words per tab like some other event rules I've seen? Sorry that I'm asking so many questions.... I just really want to know about the event because it seems really cool to me.... :) )

I don't think that the exact rules are definite yet; we're just basing our assumptions off of the rules for the trial event Rocks and Minerals.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby prelude to death » May 11th, 2011, 5:54 pm

*nodnod* I've looked at the rules, but I'm just asking Gneiss and anyone else who happens to have participated in the event before what they experienced and how it was run and what the rules were when they competed.
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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby gneissisnice » May 12th, 2011, 5:26 am

prelude to death wrote:Wait, so if I do bring a 5 inch binder (on the off chance that I actually find one and decide to use it), I should make a lot of tabs and stuff, right? (And also, for the field guide, are we allowed to write in it? And for tabs, is it a limit of three words per tab like some other event rules I've seen? Sorry that I'm asking so many questions.... I just really want to know about the event because it seems really cool to me.... :) )


Hmm I don't know if there are any rules about writing in the field guide. We never really used the field guide we brought much since my binder had everything we needed; the only use it got was when another team had forgotten theirs so we let them borrow our field guide.

We did tab it up though. You should definitely tab your binders, whether it's 5 inch or 1 inch. I made alphabetical tabs for the minerals so I could flip to the ones I wanted quickly, but you can of course sort them in other ways (such as mineral group, crystal structure, hardness, etc., though I find alphabetical the fastest). I don't recall any restrictions on tabbing.
2009 events:
Fossils: 1st @ reg. 3rd @ states (stupid dinosaurs...) 5th @ nats.
Dynamic: 1st @ reg. 19thish @ states, 18th @ nats
Herpetology (NOT the study of herpes): NA
Enviro Chem: 39th @ states =(
Cell Bio: 9th @ reg. 18th @ nats
Remote: 6th @ states 3rd @ Nats
Ecology: 5th @ Nats

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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby fossil_hound84 » May 15th, 2011, 12:28 pm

This really excites me. I have been interested in geology all my life and it wil be nice to compete in an event that is all about that kind of thing.
2011: I am a participant at nationals in Experimental Design (first at state), Awesome Aquifers (First at state), Ecology (Second last year at state), and Cant Judge a Powder (not a participant at state). Our school won state this year for Wyoming.

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Re: Preliminary: Rocks and Minerals

Postby tuftedtitmouse12 » May 15th, 2011, 1:32 pm

hmmm, so if i want to get a head start, would it be a good idea to look at the 2006 or something year, (last time r&m was an event) list?
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