Watch the following video to get a brief introduction into rocks.
A rock is a mixture of minerals, mineraloids, glass, and organic matter. There are three main types of rocks:
- Igneous: forms from the cooling of magma and lava. Sometimes forms deep in the Earth in a magma chamber, as the magma cools off slowly, turning into rock. Sometimes forms when lava quickly cools as it hits water. Igneous rocks take on many curious shapes and texture due to the amount of time it takes to cool as well as the mineral content found inside the magma.
- Metamorphic Rock: forms from rocks being pushed deep into the Earth where they change chemical composition due to the extreme heat and pressure. As the rock heats up and begins to feel pressure it twists and bends and minerals tend to align causing awesome texture and color.
- Sedimentary Rocks: form from weathered material of other rocks as well as from minerals that come out of liquid solutions. These are the most common surface rocks, formed in swamps, lake beds, ocean bottoms and sand dunes.
As rocks form and break down they go through what is known as the rock cycle. Rocks form, change shape and texture, break down due to weather and are moved to other locations due to erosion. As they break down they might get forced deep into the Earth where the rock starts to soften and become more pliable. If the rock's journey continues it may begin to melt turning into magma where it might eventually explode out of a volcano cool off and become an igneous rock.
Now that you understand a little about rock types complete the rock observation lab and the rock cycle lab.