Skip to main content

4-H Geology & Minerals Project

rugged ridges of rock and mineral formations at the badlands national park

The geology and minerals 4-H project area rocks! Collect and study different rocks, explore large geological structures, make your own crystals, learn the rock cycle, or create jewelry with rocks and minerals. You don’t have to travel far to find exhibits; discover and identify the types of rocks, minerals, and fossils in South Dakota. Your interest and knowledge about geology and minerals is sure to be set in stone!

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Start or continue to build a rock collection, including labelling the type of rock and location found. Learn the types of rock, the rock cycle, and how rocks naturally change. Explore ways to make crystals.


Understand mineral properties, tests, and uses. Research common minerals and geological structures found in South Dakota. Learn about fossils and discover ways to create molds and casts similar to a fossil.


Research natural history to learn major geologic eras and the rocks and fossils found in South Dakota. Understand the rock cycle and apply mineral tests to determine properties. Promote conservation of minerals and geological structures.

4-H Programming Priorities


Help younger 4-H members get their rock collection started. Coordinate a field trip to a state or national park and lead a nature walk to collect and study rocks.

Health & Wellness

Discovering rocks and minerals encourages time spent outdoors and allows youth to experience nature, or get active and hike to a geological structure.


Explore other sciences in relation to geology: study the impact of weather on rock, the effects of mineral extraction, or the causes of volcanoes and earthquakes.


Agrogeology connects geology to agriculture practices. Learn about research being done to improve soil quality using minerals and rocks as a natural fertilizer.

Get Involved

two green conversation bubbles

Youth Voice

  • Present your rock collection
  • Demonstrate a crystal making process
  • Illustrated talk on geological structures in South Dakota
3 green outlines of hands

Community Service

  • Show your rock/fossil collection to an elementary classroom
  • Educate community members on the importance of mineral conservation
green puzzle pieces

Career Connections

  • Geologist
  • Environmental law
  • Geological education
  • Environmental geologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Paleontologist
  • Engineering geologist

Exhibit Ideas

  • Poster of the rock cycle
  • Rock collection
  • Create and display your own crystals
  • Jewelry made with natural rocks/minerals
  • Book on the fossils found in South Dakota
  • Display on mineral characteristics
  • Poster of the types of rock