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Baloo's Bugle


June 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 10, Issue 11
July 2004 Theme

Theme: Fin Fun
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
  Tiger Cub:






Baltimore Area Council

The Geologist activity badge is a fun and exciting time for the boys as they explore the outdoors for that perfect rock sample, explore what happens when you crush rocks or create a miniature volcano. The hands-on activities will encourage the boys to become budding rock hounds and explorers.

Make a Volcano

Materials: A small (one liter) plastic soda bottle, baking pan, dirt, one tablespoon baking soda, one cup of vinegar and red food coloring.



Place the soda bottle in the pan and shape dirt around the bottle to form the volcano, taking care not to get dirt near the bottle's opening.

Pour the tablespoon of baking soda into the bottle. Color the vinegar with the food coloring, pour into the bottle and watch what happens!

Baking soda reacting with the vinegar produces carbon dioxide gas. The gas builds up pressure and forces the liquid out of the top of the bottle, much like hot gases force the lava from a volcano.

Make a Geyser

Materials: A funnel, a large coffee can as tall as the funnel, and some plastic tubing about one yard long.


Fill the can with water and set the funnel spout side up inside the can.

Place the end of the tubing under the rim of the funnel. Gently blow into the other end of the tubing. The air being blown into the funnel forces air bubbles up the stem of the funnel. As the air moves upward. it pushes water out the top.

Geysers are funnel-shaped cracks under the earth's surface. When water in the lower cracks is heated to boiling, bubbles of steam rise to the surface. The geyser erupts when the rising steam bubbles force out the water trapped in the top.

Make an Earthquake

Put mud into a disposable cake pan. Let it dry.

Now flex the pan at opposite sides.

The cracked, shifted, jagged and broken pieces are an example of plate tectonics or the premise behind the formation of the continents.

To demonstrate the strength of an earthquake, fold a full sheet of newspaper seven or eight times. Now try to tear the newspaper apart. It doesn't take much effort to tear one sheet (or one layer of earth), but it takes a tremendous force to tear several layers.

Make Your Own Fossils

The shells and bones of many prehistoric animals have been preserved as casts and molds. To make your own fossil, you will need a small cardboard box, some clay, plaster and a small clam or other seashell.

First cover the bottom of the cardboard box with the modeling clay to the depth of one inch. The clay represents the soft mud found on the ancient sea floor.

Now press the shell firmly into the clay. Lift the shell out carefully so that a clear imprint remains. You now have produced the mold. Next, mix a small amount of plaster with water in a paper cup. Stir it with a wooden stick or spoon. When the plaster is the consistency of thick cream, till the mold. After the plaster has thoroughly hardened, carefully remove it from the mold. You now have a cast of the original shell.

Compare the original shell with the plaster cast. Notice that even some of the most delicate markings on the shell have been preserved in the plaster.

This same technique is used in reconstructing the shells of long-dead animals. In addition, casts are especially useful in working with fossil footprints. When a track is filed with plaster, the resulting cast will clearly show the size and shape of the foot of the animal making the track.

Geology Quiz

True or False'?

1.       The principal ore in the metal Silicon is Quartz.

2.       Mountains are always made by overflowing lava.

3.       Petrified wood is an unusual type of fossil.

4.       A knife blade can easily scratch feldspar.

5.       Sandstone is igneous rock made of cold magma.

6.       Scientists record earthquakes on a Quakograph.

Answers: 1. T       2. F          3. T         4. F          5. F          6. F

Scoring: All 6 - Diamond 5 - Ruby 4 - Emerald 3 - Sapphire 2 - Topaz 1 - Calcite 0 - Zirconium

Hardness Scale for Minerals

Geologists use a 1-10 system called Mohs' scale to estimate rock hardness It works like this: A mineral will scratch anything that is as hard as or softer than itself. The chart below combines Mohs' scale with some around-the-house items that are about equal to the mineral hardness scale. You might want to collect these items for a hardness kit.




These household items can be used to test for hardness




Soft Lead Pencil




Blackboard Chalk



Copper Penny






Carpenterís Nail



Steel File



Flint Sandpaper






Emery Sandpaper




Carborundum Sandpaper

King of the Ore

Baltimore Area Council

The boys stand in a circle. The game begins with the first boy naming something in the house that is made of an ore or metal and its use. If he is correct, he becomes King and can stand in the center of the circle. The next boy in the circle then tries to name something in the house made of ore or metal and its use. If he is correct, he can then stand in the center. If he is incorrect, play moves to the next boy in the circle. Play continues until everyone has had a chance to play.


By Barb Stephens

Circle Ten Council

Read the definitions, then label the diagram.

ash cloud -    the cloud of ash that forms in the air after some volcanic eruptions

conduit -        a passage through which magma (molten rock) flows in a volcano

crust -             the Earth's outermost, rocky layer

lava -              molten rock; usually comes out of erupting volcanoes

magma chamber -                 contains magma (molten rock) deep within the Earth's crust

side vent -     a vent in the side of a volcano

vent -              an opening in the Earth's surface through which volcanic materials erupt


Circle Ten Council

Clothes, type of clothes you would wear hiking or hunting.

Collecting bag, a knapsack with pockets is ideal. Lunch size paper bags can be used to put individual specimens in. Also take newspaper to wrap rocks in first.

Field Notebooks and labels, Give each specimen a number and label it before you wrap it. In a small pocket notebook record: Name/ Location/ Date/ collector

Big and little hammers, An 8 x 10 pound sledgehammer and a 1 Ĺ to 2-pound hammer.

Chisels, One or more steel chisels (Wood chisels chip and dull too quickly)

Goggles and face shields, To protect face and eyes while hammering at rocks

Magnifiers, Hand lens or pocket magnifier

First Aid Kit



Ask for permission before going on private property

Donít meddle with tools, machinery or domestic animals

Leave gates as you found them

Stay on roads, donít walk or drive over growing crops

Take only what you will use for yourself or trading, leave something for others after you.

Be courteous and considerate of the rights of others

Listen to the leader.






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