Geoscience teaching kits, materials, and activities are available for loan to educators and for use in classrooms and outreach programs. 

  • Usually kits go out on loan for 1-2 weeks.
  • They are available only as hand-carried, they are not designed for shipping.
  • With sufficient advance notice, Montgomery County Public Schools teachers can request the “pony” to pick up, deliver, and return kits for them.
  • Appropriate grade levels are indicated by All, LE (lower elementary), UE (upper elementary), M(iddle), and H(igh) School.

Please contact Llyn Sharp to reserve materials., 540-231-4080.

Download an annotated list of the kits below in PDF format (from 04/2014, needs update).

Earth System Sciences Materials

In alphabetical order within their categories.


  • Valley and Ridge Local Sedimentary Rocks (M, H)
    • 15 specimens of the Blacksburg section, geologic maps.
  • Virginia Fossils & Paleontology (UE, M, H)
    • 9 hands-on activities, fossils, and materials.
  • Virginia Piedmont Rocks (M, H)
    Labeled sedimentary rocks from the Piedmont, extra activities.
  • Virginia State Fossil: Chesapecten jeffersonius(All)
    Several specimens, background, and a hands-on activity.


Videos of Geologic Processes (All) Dr. Philip Prince's "sandbox" models in action. We hope to build an extra sandbox model to have available for loan. There is an exhibit in the hallway with a sandbox and the videos playing on a monitor along with posters relating the modelled patterns to local topography and geology.  See Dr. Prince's blog for more about Appalachian geomorphology.

Mineralogy Kits

  • Fluorescent Minerals (All)
    • 10 minerals and a portable blacklight
  • Hardness Set (Geomodules) (All)
    Large set with 9 minerals, glass, penny, nail, and streak plate
  • Hardness Set (Moh's, Wards) (All)
    Small set with 9 minerals, glass, penny, nail, and streak plate
  • Household Minerals (All)
    Various minerals (halite, kaolinite, etc.) and their resulting products
  • Minerals & Art (All)
    • Art supplies (paint, crayons, etc.) made with mineral pigments. Activities.
  • Minerals & their Uses (All)
    Various minerals and their resulting commercial products
  • Mineral Properties (Geomodules) (All)
    Minerals showing fracture, cleavage, hardness, and specific gravity
  • Mineral Properties Investigation (All)
    6 unknown minerals to sort using observation
  • Mineralpoly (All):  This educational 'zine shares important mineral properties. 
    • NOTE: When printing your PDF, please select "None" for Page Scaling.
      MINERALPOLY High quality, 26.1 MB Download
      MINERALPOLY Low quality, 258 KB Download
      Zine Assembly Instructions Download

Paleontology (Geobiology) Kits

  • Coal (UE, M, H)
    Coal samples, maps of coal mine locations, and literature.
  • Dino-Mite (LE)
    Plastic dinosaurs, educational posters, and fossil casts and molds.
  • Fossil Making & Excavation (LE, UE)
    Fabricated outcrops containing "fossils" with excavation tools.
  • Fossils (GeoModules) (H)
    Sets of brachiopod, mollusc, coral, and other fossils.
  • Geologic Time (UE, M, H)
    Fossil specimens, fossil cards & rope to create a timeline.
  • Introduction to Trilobites (UE, M, H)
    A variety of trilobite fossils introduce students to their morphology and ecology.
  • Trilobites (UE, M, H)
    Trilobite fossils and casts and informative guidebook.


Petrology Kits

  • Carbonate Rocks, Caves, and Karst Geology (All)
  • Introduction to Rock & Mineral Identification (UE)
    Group sets of minerals & rocks with classification and identification activities
  • Luck Stone Rock (specific to 5th grade SOLs) (E)
    Rock samples and posters for observational/inquiry-based learning
  • Rock Cycle Kits (UE, M)
    11 samples of rocks from the 3 major types with a lesson on the rock cycle.
    (3 replicate kits available)
  • What's in a Rock? (UE, M)
    An array of rock and mineral specimens


  • EnviroScape Watershed Model: Non-point Source (All)
  • EnviroScape Watershed Model: Wetlands (All)
  • GLOBE Field Test Kits for Hydrology Protocols (H)
  • Looking Closely at Natural Objects (LE, UE)
    • Shells, invertebrate fossils, rocks, and other natural objects
  • The MINTS Book (All) 
    • Model Inquiries into Nature for Teaching Sciences: An Inquiry Field Guide to the Natural History of Schoolyards, Backyards, and Parks
  • Nitrogen Cycle Game (UE)
    • Board/card game demonstrating nitrogen molecule travel
  • Weather Kit (All)  may move to Meteorology Dept.  Check with us.