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Did you find a rock at the park and don't know what kind it is? Studying and learning about geology is fun for everyone. If you would like to learn more about rocks, minerals and fossils, then dive into the geology project! Discover the types of minerals, rocks and fossils that can be found where you live. Learn about geological formations across the state and in other states.


In this project, you will learn the difference between rocks and minerals, learn how to identify fossils, describe and identify rocks, understand stages of the rock cycle, and use the scientific method to solve problems.

Resources to help you learn

  • Geology – Introduction to the Study of the Earth

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 3 entries total from 50218, 50219, 50220, 50221, 50222; and 1 entry from 50224. Size and number of exhibit cases should relate appropriately to the number of specimens being displayed for a specified class. Specimens are not limited to Illinois locations. All levels of Geology use the same manual, Geology-Introduction to the Study of the Earth.

50218    Pebble Pups 1

Display 8 to 19 rocks and mineral specimens with three minerals in the collections. Collection may include duplications that show variations. Label collection and note where found.

50219    Pebble Pups 2

Display at least 20, but no more than 29, rocks and mineral specimens with seven minerals in the collections. Collection may include duplications that show variations. Label collection and note where found.

50220    Rock Hounds 1

Display at least 30, but no more than 40, rocks and mineral specimens with ten minerals in the collection. Rocks should include at least three igneous, two metamorphic, and three sedimentary groups. Label collection and note where found.

50221    Rock Hounds 2

Display no more than 50 specimens that have been selected to illustrate a specific theme of the exhibitor’s choosing. Be creative. Sample categories could include (but are not limited to): industrial minerals and their uses; a specific rock group and the variety that occurs in that group, including some minerals that occur in that environment; select fossils traced through the geologic ages; minerals and their crystal habits; rocks and minerals used in the lapidary arts.

50222    Geology Innovation Class

Open to youth who were at least 13 years of age on 9/1/17 and are enrolled in Geology.

Demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained through the Geology project. Exhibit may be the result of knowledge gained from project manuals; independent study about Illinois rock(s) and mineral(s), interaction with geology professionals; and/or individual exploration in the area of geology. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. Your exhibit should not fit in the other exhibit options for this project. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period.

50224    Geology Ready4Life Challenge

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Geology project

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.