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!
Unless indicated otherwise, most GMS events are perfectly fine for juniors depending on age, interest, and temperament. Plus, special field trips designed just for kids as well as 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 and they can learn what those rocks are!
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
April Easter Egg Hunt Cancelled
At the March meeting, we had our second session on fossils.
Due to growing concerns with the COVID-19 virus, we are taking extra precautions with our juniors and cancelling the Easter party for April. When things settle down we will look at doing a late Easter party. Apologies, we know many were looking forward to the event but safety and well-being is our number one concern.
Junior Section Chair
NEW! Juniors t-shirts! Click here for details!
To read junior articles click here
For Diamond Dan's Mini Miner's Monthly Special Edition click here
For Diamond Dan's Mineral Names Dictionary 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!
2020 Junior Events
Important Earth Science Points - Bill Waggener shared his Earth Science teaching specimens to highlight objectives from the Georgia Earth Science Standards of Excellence for K, 3rd and 6th grades.
Fossils Part 1 - Juniors learned about fossils and even got some fossils to take home!
Fossils Part 2 - Juniors continued learning about fossils and had even more fossil fun!
2019 Junior Events
Marine Fossils - There were marine fossils galore for juniors to explore! Each junior received samples of fossils for their collection as well as information sheets and some coloring fun!
Don't Judge a Rock by its Cover: Tumbling Stones - Juniors learned how to take plain stones and tumble them in grit from coarse to fine to reveal the beauty just below the surface!
Guest Speaker: Cam Muskelly - Former Junior Section member Cam Muskelly spoke to juniors about his passion for paleontology and geology.
Easter Egg Hunt - At GMS the eggs are filled with rocks, minerals, and fossils. Juniors identified their finds and enjoyed an indoor hot dog picnic! [click the penguin to see pictures from the event]
Mother's Day Show Crafts - Juniors had fun making wild and wacky wire and bead aliens.
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! [click the penguin to see pictures from the event]
Fossil Dig - Fossil Section sponsored Junior Section with a fossil dig on the steps of the building! Lucky juniors went home with baggies full of cool fossils they found themselves, plus members identified the fossils for them! [click the shark tooth to see pictures from the event]
Volcanoes - Mineral Section sponsored Junior Section and juniors learned about volcanoes on earth and other planets! Each junior received various volcanic rocks including one that floats on water!
SANDsational Fun! - Sand Section sponsored Junior Section. Juniors made sand cards and examined the sand with microscopes, then made shadow box art with sandpaper, and finally played hide-and-seek for toothbrush timer prizes! Each junior also received a special sand scoop and a little magnifier! [click the sand castle to see pictures from the event]
Beads of Courage Day - Juniors and adults made polymer clay beads for children undergoing medical treatments. Members made a record number of beads this year -- more than 200! [click the beads to see pictures from the event]
Crystal Field Trip - Juniors and their families went on a special field trip and dug their own beautiful quartz crystals! [click the crystal to see pictures from the event]
Holiday Party - Juniors made cheesy snowmen, decorated cookies, made quartz crystal ornaments, played elf duck toss for rock prizes, and received special holiday rocks too! [click the ornament to see pictures from the event]
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 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!
Rocks/Minerals and Native Americans - Juniors learned about ways Native Americans used rocks and minerals in tools, weapons, food preparation, and homes as well as for artistic, medicinal, and spiritual uses! Hands-on projects included sand-casting and painting. Juniors even received an apache tear obsidian for their rock collection!
Georgia State Gem, Mineral, and Fossil - Juniors learned about all of the official Georgia state designated items! They also came up with different reasons why either marble or granite should be Georgia's state rock. Each junior made their own state plaques to take home with Georgia's official gem, mineral, and fossil - quartz, staurolite, and a shark's tooth!
Ways Minerals and Rocks are Used - Juniors were surprised to hear about all of the ways rocks and minerals are used in so many things around us, things we use, and even in food! They worked on a stepping stone project with rocks too!
Petrified Wood - Juniors learned about petrified wood and received samples of real petrified wood! They also had "petrified" cookie snacks and made their own spooky glow-in-the-dark pal to take home!
Gem Trees & Graves Mountain - Juniors made a real gem tree! They also learned about Graves Mountain minerals and even got samples to take home!
Holiday Party! - Juniors celebrated the holidays with games, crafts, snacks, and great specimens to take home!
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