In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Crazy Quartz Excavation. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about quartz, rocks, minerals, geology, and more.


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Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

Empty Altoids Tin

Quartz - You can buy many different types of rough quartz inexpensively online but you can often find quartz during a fun walk through the woods. 


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  1. Place some quartz in the tin.
  2. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the quartz.
  5. Place the Crazy Quartz Excavation in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  6. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome quartz specimens you have hidden inside.


Quartz Quest: Crystal Marvels and Earth's Shining Treasures!

Fun Facts about Quartz:

  1. Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and can be found in a variety of colors, including clear, pink, purple, yellow, and even smoky gray.

  2. Quartz crystals are formed in a six-sided shape with a pointed tip, known as a hexagonal prism, and they can vary in size from tiny crystals to giant formations several feet long.

  3. Quartz is a hard mineral, ranking 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, just below diamond, making it suitable for use in various industries, including jewelry and electronics.

  4. Quartz has been used for thousands of years by different cultures for its beauty and metaphysical properties, often believed to promote harmony and positive energy.

  5. Clear quartz is sometimes called "rock crystal" and has been used in crystal balls, jewelry, and even ancient sculptures.

  6. Amethyst is a variety of quartz known for its vibrant purple color, and it has been cherished as a gemstone since ancient times.

  7. Citrine is another variety of quartz that ranges in color from pale yellow to deep golden hues, often resembling the color of sunflowers.

  8. Rose quartz is a type of quartz known for its delicate pink color, often associated with love, compassion, and emotional healing.

  9. Quartz can be found in different environments, including igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, as well as in sand and soil.

  10. Some quartz crystals exhibit a phenomenon called piezoelectricity, which means they can generate an electric charge when subjected to pressure or mechanical stress.

  11. Quartz crystals are used in watches, clocks, and electronic devices because they have the ability to vibrate at a precise frequency, ensuring accurate timekeeping.

  12. Quartz crystals are believed to have a unique ability to store and amplify energy, which is why they are often used in meditation and healing practices.

Remember, quartz crystals are like Earth's dazzling jewels, reflecting the wonders of our planet's geological treasures and offering a glimpse into its remarkable mineral kingdom!


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Question 1: What is the hardness of quartz on the Mohs scale? A) 5 B) 7 C) 9 D) 10

Correct answer: B) 7

Question 2: Which variety of quartz is known for its vibrant purple color? A) Amethyst B) Citrine C) Rose quartz D) Smoky quartz

Correct answer: A) Amethyst

Question 3: What is the phenomenon called when quartz crystals can generate an electric charge under pressure? A) Piezoelectricity B) Photoluminescence C) Ferromagnetism D) Radioactivity

Correct answer: A) Piezoelectricity