Most kids seem to go through a phase where they pick up rocks. Even if you aren't a rockhound now, didn't you have a shoebox full of playground rocks under your bed?
At GMS we encourage children to learn more about earth science. The junior section is an active, vibrant group that has fun while they are learning. Juniors even get special items to bid on during our auctions!
Special field trips that are designed just for kids plus other educational activities are always on the calendar, so if you have a young one who comes home with pockets full of rocks, bring them to GMS!
Note: Juniors are members less than 18 years old who still live at home.
If you have any questions about Junior Section, please send email to
Junior Section Message
Navajo Sand Painting
Navajo Sand Cast Jewelry
Mary Gurney Sand Cast Dino
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Location: GMS Building
Topic: Rocks/Minerals and Native Americans
Wow! I thought I would have trouble coming up with enough ways rocks and mineral were used by Native Americans. Well, there were tools, weapons, food preparation, homes, artistic, medicinal, and spiritual uses! Way too much for one meeting. I did however, see a couple of interesting art related topics that I think will be new and unusual as well as interesting. One I had never heard of was sand-casting! They used sand to make molds for casting mostly silver objects. We will try our own sand casting using plaster for casting as it is safer (and affordable). We will look at paint pots I collected on one of our field trips. We will also look at rock/mineral jewelry and Native American sand art and cave/pottery painting. I did a simple sand cast of a plastic dinosaur. The picture should show a relief cast not a depression though sometimes the picture looks like a depression or optical illusion! We may have time to paint hieroglyphics to tell a story of a great imaginary or historical Native American event. Everyone will get to take home an “Apache Tear” specimen as well as their cast and paint project.
Junior Section Chair
To read junior articles click here
GMS Meetings for Juniors!
How to join our group…
If you are a GMS member you get quite a deal. For the $25.00 family member fee, your whole family gets to go to any field trip, meeting, and other great events for a year. We now have a section meeting designed for our juniors! If you are not a member yet, it is easy and can be done on-line here
or making a hard copy from the GMS website and sending the membership form and check here
You get to…
You get to do hands on activities, learn about topics of interest to our juniors, and take home a free specimen each time you attend. You will have a chance to win a special specimen at each meeting. Oh, and have a snack and enjoy fellow rock hounds!
When we meet…
Most of the meetings are at the GMS building. We are currently meeting on Sunday afternoon to accommodate those living far away, and reduce conflicts with Saturday GMS field trips. Many of the meetings are on the 2nd or 3rd Sunday afternoon of each month. This is a great way for those interested in rocks, minerals, fossils, etc. to have fun together. The topics also cover the required school objectives and are also a great opportunity for homeschool families!
2018 Junior Events
Mineral Mania - Juniors learned various mineral identification tests and went home with some minerals to start their collections plus a refrigerator streak test magnet!
Mineral Testing Kit - Juniors learned how to use various tests to identify minerals, plus they made their own testing kit to take home! [click the clipboard to see pictures from the event]
Pot o' Gold Review - Juniors reviewed lessons from prior Junior Section meetings to prepare for school and state tests. Students earned prizes and enjoyed snacks!
Trilobites: Super survivors that went down Fighting - Juniors learned learned about trilobites, received a real trilobite fossil, and made a trilobite model to take home!
Mother's Day Show Crafts - Juniors had fun making a Mother's Day card and a pet rock at the GMS rock show! [click the gift box to see pictures from the event]
Annual Picnic - Juniors got to bid on special auction items, and even got into the action on non-junior lots when they weren't having a blast in the adjacent playground!
2017 Junior Events
It's Sedimentary my dear Watson! - Juniors made sediment bottles, sediment art, and even tasty sedimentary goodies! [click the footprints to see pictures from the event]
Mashed, Mangled, Morphing, Metamorphic Rocks - Juniors made s’mores (yum) and clay models to show how heat and pressure change all three types of rocks. [click the stone heart to see pictures from the event]
Incredible Igneous Rocks - Juniors learned about igneous rocks while they made igneous snacks. Everyone went home with a piece of obsidian!
Easter Egg Hunt - At GMS the eggs are filled with rocks, minerals, and fossils. Juniors identified their finds, played rock games, and made some geology related art too!
Gem Trees & Pendants - Juniors had fun at the May rock show making gem trees and pendants. [click the tree to see pictures from the event]
June: Annual Picnic - Juniors got to bid on special auction items, plus there was a special table for juniors to put their specimens for identification! [click the penguin to see pictures from the picnic]
July: Sensational Sand - Juniors took home sand samples from around the world as well as the US. They made sand clay creations and learned about rare sands with special stories.
August: Dynamic Dinosaurs - Juniors created 3-D models of dinosaurs using clues from bones and took their models home!
September: Gorgeous Geodes - A favorite of all ages! Juniors learned the difference between geodes, thunder eggs, nodules, and concretions. They even cracked open geodes to take home!
October: Erupting Volcanoes - Juniors learned about types of volcanoes including the destructive and constructive forces as well as volcanic specimens and received some Mount St. Helen's ash for their collections!
Polished and Wrapped! - Juniors learned which rocks are best for polishing and how they can polish rocks. They also learned a simple wire wrap and made their own pendant or keychain, too! [click the pendant to see pictures from the event]
Holiday Party! - Juniors celebrated the holidays with games, crafts, snacks, and great specimens to take home!
2016 Junior Events
Easter Egg Hunt - Eggs were filled with rocks, minerals, and fossils. Juniors identified their finds, played rock games, and made sand art eggs! [click the penguin to see pictures from the event]
Mineral Kit - Juniors made mineral ID kits. They learned and practiced mineral tests to ID minerals.
Gem Trees - Juniors had fun at the May rock show making gem trees and bracelets. [click the tree to see pictures from the event]
Picnic - Special juniors only auction items plus bejeweled fan crafting and a great playground! [click the penguin to see pictures from the picnic]
Crystals - By making 3D models, juniors learned about different crystal shapes and how crystals form. They even got real crystals to take home! [click the crystals to see pictures from the workshop]
Fantastic Fossils Part 1 - Juniors got an introduction to what fossils are, made footprints, and even got fossils to take home! [click the trilobite to see pictures from the workshop]
Dynamic Dinosaurs, Fossils 2 - More fossil fun with dinosaur fossils. Juniors learned about paleontologists and took home real dino fossils! [click the footprint to see pictures from the workshop]
Dino Bone Thief - Juniors became CSI detectives and used soil analysis to determine which doggy took a dino bone.
2015 Junior Events
: Make gem trees, easy for little and big fingered rock hounders. We will award prizes. [Click the tree to see pictures from the event]
Juniors Only Auction of rocks, minerals, jewelry, rock hounding supplies, etc. You can also bring specimens to trade. Bring your change and some dollars to BID and WIN some great loot! We will have over 30 items. The money raised will be donated to our Junior Section Fund. Check out our building!
Easter Egg Hunt. Eggs are filled with Gems and Minerals plus juniors get to hunt for fossils! [click the dino egg to see pictures from the event]
Yearly GMS show, weekend of Mother’s Day at our new location, North Atlanta Trade Center in Norcross. Come out and help us celebrate 80 years and enjoy lots of special activities for juniors. For instance, the auction will include items for Juniors only bidding as well. [Click the blue crystal for scavenger hunt pictures]
Beads of Courage. Hang out with other teens who like Rocks and Gems like you. Earn volunteer hours. Check out our building. [click the beads to see pictures from the event]
The Yearly GMS Picnic is the first Saturday of June, which includes playing in the park and an Auction of 200 lot items of Rock Hounding glory! Juniors-only auction bidding items will be available. [click the penguin to see pictures from the picnic]
Dial M for Mineral Clue Hunt
Attend a Field Trip [click the car to see pictures from the field trip]
Attend a Field Trip
On your own: Parents and GMS volunteers to help juniors write and submit a Rock Hounding Story for a prize and publication.
: Atlanta Maker Faire - Make a gem tree and some sand art and help other kids have fun too!
Juniors only field trip! More information is available in the November Tips and Trips
newsletter and via member email. [click the crystal to see pictures from the field trip]
Beads of Courage. Hang out with other people who like Rocks and Gems like you. Earn volunteer hours. Check out our building. [click the beads to see pictures from the event]
Make a Christmas ornament using nice mineral specimens. [click the ornament to see pictures from the event]
2014 Junior Activities
Special Juniors Field Trip click here
Easter Egg Hunt click here
May Show Scavenger Hunt click here
June Picnic click here
Junior Day at Sand Section click here
Fall Beads of Courage Day click here