By Leah Schmalz

What are rocks? Fourth grade students at Bain Elementary learned the answer to that question last Thursday morning, thanks to a group of students from Independence High School. They spent an hour at the elementary school giving science presentations on rocks.

Bain Elementary fourth grader Jake Glanzer checks out his pet rock, provided by ninth graders from Independence High School as part of a science presentation on rocks.

Bain Elementary fourth grader Jake Glanzer checks out his pet rock, provided by ninth graders from Independence High School as part of a science presentation on rocks.

The IHS students split up into small groups. Each group gave a presentation in a different fourth grade class. They passed out guided notes and presented a slideshow that covered how rocks are weathered, the three types of rocks and how they are formed, and the uses of rocks in everyday life.

In Pam Spilde’s class, IHS freshman Josh Blue passed around samples of coal, gneiss, and mica. He explained that if the stu- dents were able to press the coal hard enough between their hands, they could turn it into a diamond. “Don’t try it, though,” he said.

“What are some of the uses of rocks?” asked fresh- man Ashley Gildersleeve. The students quickly rattled off gravel roads, arrowheads, countertops, and houses. One student jokingly added “throwing” to the list.

The IHS students wrapped up the presentations with a game of jeopardy. They divided the class into groups for some friendly competition to test what the students had learned. While all the students received candy afterwards, the winning team got an extra prize. They received pet rocks in decorative shoebox houses, complete with brochures outlining their likes and dislikes. Each rock was painted and decorated uniquely.

Fourth grader Aleisha Lamb received a blue rock named David. “I’m going to take care of him forever,” she said. She enjoyed the presentation as well. “I thought it was really cool how they showed it to us,” she said.