Hard Rock Challenge!

Key Stage 2

Do you know your granite from your tin? Take on the Hard Rock Challenge and discover that not all rocks are hard and grey! Uncover the fascinating world that lies beneath your feet...

Aims of this workshop:

  • To understand that rocks and minerals are found underground and have different properties 
  • To see a mining example of how basic scientific concepts have been put into practice to get tin metal from its ore
  • To encourage enthusiasm for minerals, science and mining using hands-on activities

What happens on the day?

In the Peninsular of Minerals Gallery, students are introduced to the huge variety of rocks and minerals that can be found underground. Your guide briefly explains how the minerals got underground illustrating the basic concepts of the Rock Cycle and formation of Cornish tin. Then the students investigate Geevor rocks and their properties during the hands-on 'Hard Rock Challenge' to decide how miners could simply identify rocks by comparing and testing texture, hardness, weight and appearance.

The workshop is supported during the rest of the day by activities such as crushing and sorting rock in the hand-drilling session; seeing how scientific processes are put into action in Geevor's Processing Mill, and also in the sensory underground tour, where tin ore can still be seen in situ. Panning for gems to take home is also a winning attraction for students and teachers alike!!

Main curriculum themes: Science, Geography, History.


Accompanying Resources


For this workshop, the standard Outreach would be suitable for this age group and available to local groups. A charge to cover petrol costs applies. Please discuss your options with a member of the Learning Team.

Loans Box:

To complement this workshop, there is an Experiments with Rocks Loan Box, which contains similar activities as will be done onsite during the Hard Rock Challenge, but could be used in class as reinforcement activity. Alternatively, the Mining History Loan Box introduces the basics of hard rock mining through replica and genuine objects, photos and information, and complements any site visit.

Website Links:

See the top right hand side of this screen for related links on this website or explore topics for yourself.

More detail for teachers: 

Links to relevant downloadable pdfs can be found along the right of this page (scroll up). Further teaching resources, audios and photos can be downloaded from our Resource Bank.


For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Geevor's Learning Team


  • View Comments
  • Leave a Comment

Comment left by bluespice on 2010-02-21 16:43:01

nice huh!^_^

Name: (as you would like it to appear on the website)

Email: (this will not be displayed on the website)