For over two decades, egg carton rock and mineral collections for kids have been a popular activity at the annual Flagg Gem & Mineral Show. The activity began when Professor Ray Grant of Mesa Community College asked for more kid’s activities at the show, particularly ones that would provide an educational experience. Kids of all ages will again be able to make collections at the 2016 show.
The first time it was offered, about 100 kids made collections. Then, the word slowly spread, and teachers and parents began bringing children to the show specifically for the egg carton collection. Currently, nearly 1000 children now make a collection at the show. Many are repeat customers, coming back each year to acquire new specimens. Parents and grandparents also make collections for children and grandchildren. The $1 donation for a 12 specimen collection used to be given to the mineral museum for displays and supplies. Now, it provides materials for the outreach program provided by the Earth Science Museum.
Participants get to choose form nearly 400 different specimens and labels with mineral or rock identification and point of origin is provided. Rocks from each rock type (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary) are available, as well as a wide selection of minerals. Favorite minerals are iron pyrite (fool’s gold) and the bright and shiny silver colored iron ore, specular hematite. There are also some fossils, including fossilized shark teeth that are also a very big hit with kids.
Note: Donations of clean, empty egg cartons are appreciated. However, all children that wish to participate will have a carton, whether they bring one or not.