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Investigate rocks and minerals and learn about fossils and plate tectonics.

  • 10 May 2024
  • 10:30am - 4:30pm
  • £37.50
  • Maidstone

Investigate rocks and minerals and learn about fossils and plate tectonics.

About the event

On this introductory course we will be investigating rocks and minerals through hand specimens and understanding how the processes of plate tectonics determine where certain rock types can be found. We will also be looking at past life on Earth using fossil casts.

The course will be delivered using a PowerPoint presentation. A small practical kit will be used, each kit to be shared between two students. There will be opportunities to inspect geological specimens from the practical kit and other hand specimens will be made available on the day.

Morning: Session 1
Rocks and minerals are important for learning about geology and understanding how the Earth has evolved. We shall consider what is a rock and what is a mineral and examine the different properties used to help identify minerals. We shall look at a simple classification of rocks and in more detail at a sandstone and two types of igneous rock to understand the context in which these rocks can form. Learning will be advanced through a couple of short practical exercises.

Session 2
Next, we shall look at the important concept of Plate Tectonics and how it explains global phenomena, such as volcanoes, earthquakes and the formation of mountain ranges. We shall study the evidence that has accumulated to support this scientific theory and learn how it helped to explain the movement of the continents over geological time. This will be followed by an exercise based on the practical kit linking rock types to Plate Tectonic settings.

Afternoon: Session 3
Fossils provide information about how animals and plants lived in the past. We shall consider what is a fossil and the difference between body fossils and trace fossils. The greater part of this session will be spent looking at a range of different fossil casts. We shall consider how each animal lived, how it moved, how it died and how it was adapted to its local environment.

By the end of the course you should have a basic understanding of the following:

  • The difference between rocks and minerals.
  • The role and importance of plate tectonics.
  • The difference between trace fossils and body fossils.

This course is suitable for beginners.  Please note that only adults aged 18 and over can now attend our Study Days.  This is for safeguarding and insurance reasons.

Led by Geoff Downer, Geologist


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