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Science Sampler: The Pet Rock Project—Making the rock cycle come alive!

Science Scope—October 2007

The Pet Rock Project provides students with an in-depth understanding of the rock cycle that involves their artistic and creative abilities in the Earth science classroom. The idea of a pet rock was central to the project as a mechanism to make Earth science seem more inviting to reluctant learners. The focus on the development of a rock “animal” is supported by science education research, which reveals that middle school students report more interest in learning about animals versus plants—partly because animals have human-like faces and can interact with people, and their life cycles are easily observed (Wandersee 1986).
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