Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Geology Merit Badge






  1. Define geology. Discuss how geologists learn about rock formations. In geology, explain why the study of the present is important to understanding the past.
  2. Pick three resources that can be extracted or mined from Earth for commercial use. Discuss with your counselor how each product is discovered and processed.
  3. Review a geologic map of your area or an area selected by your counselor, and discuss the different rock types and estimated ages of rocks represented. Determine whether the rocks are horizontal, folded, or faulted, and explain how you arrived at your conclusion.
  4. 4.Do ONE of the following:
        A. With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit with a geologist, land use planner, or civil
              engineer. Discuss this professional's work and the tools required in this line of work. Learn about a
              project that this person is now working on, and ask to see reports and maps created for this
              project. Discuss with your counselor what you have learned.
        B. Find out about three career opportunities available in geology. Pick one and find out the education,
              training, and experience required for the profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain
              why this profession might interest you.
  5. Do ONE of the following (a OR b OR c OR d):
        A. Surface and Sedimentary Processes Option
              1. Conduct an experiment approved by your counselor that demonstrates how sediments settle
                    from suspension in water. Explain to your counselor what the exercise shows and why it is
              2. Using topographical maps provided by your counselor, plot the stream gradients (different
                    elevations divided by distance) for four different stream types (straight, meandering, dendritic,
                    trellis). Explain which ones flow fastest and why, and which ones will carry larger grains of
                    sediment and why.
              3. On a stream diagram, show areas where you will ,find the following features: cut bank, fill bank,
                    point bar, medial channel bars, lake delta. Describe the relative sediment grain size found in
                    each feature.
              4. Conduct an experiment approved by your counselor that shows how some sedimentary material
                    carried by water may be too small for you to see without a magnifier.
              5. Visit a nearby stream. Find clues that show the direction of water flow, even if the water is
                    missing. Record your observations in a notebook, and sketch those clues you observe.
                    Discuss your observations with your counselor.
        B. Energy Resources Option
              1. List the top five Earth resources used to generate electricity in the United States.
              2. Discuss source rock, trap, and reservoir rock - the three components necessary for the
                    occurrence of oil and gas underground.
              3. Explain how each of the following items is used in subsurface exploration to locate oil or gas:
                    reflection seismic, electric well logs, stratigraphic correlation, offshore platform, geologic map,
                    subsurface structure map, subsurface isopach map, and core samples and cutting samples.
              4. Using at least 20 data points provided by your counselor, create a subsurface structure map and
                    use it to explain how subsurface geology maps are used to find oil, gas, or coal resources.
              5. Do ONE of the following activities:
                    a. Make a display or presentation showing how oil and gas or coal is found, extracted, and
                        processed. You may use maps, books, articles from periodicals, and research found on the
                        Internet (with your parent's permission). Share the display with your counselor or a small
                        group (such as your class at school) in a five minute presentation.
                    b. With your parent's and counselor's permission and assistance, arrange for a visit to an
                        operating drilling rig. While there, talk with a geologist and ask to see what the geologist
                        does onsite. Ask to see cutting samples taken at the site.
        C. Mineral Resources Option
              1. Define rock. Discuss the three classes of rocks including their origin and characteristics.
              2. Define mineral. Discuss the origin of minerals and their chemical composition and identification
                    properties, including hardness, specific gravity, color, streak, cleavage, luster, and crystal form.
              3. Do ONE of the following:
                    a. Collect 10 different rocks or minerals. Record in a notebook where you obtained (found,
                        bought, traded) each one. Label each specimen, identify its class and origin, determine its
                        chemical composition, and list its physical properties. Share your collection with your
                    b. With your counselor's assistance, identify 15 different rocks and minerals. List the name of
                        each specimen, tell whether it is a rock or mineral, and give the name of its class (if it is a
                        rock) or list its identifying physical properties (if it is a mineral).
              4. List three of the most common road building materials used in your area. Explain how each
                    material is produced and how each is used in road building.
              5. Do ONE of the following activities:
                    a.With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit an active mining site, quarry, or sand and
                        gravel pit. Tell your counselor what you learned about the resources extracted from this
                        location and how these resources are used by society.
                    b.With your counselor, choose two examples of rocks and two examples of minerals. Discuss
                        the mining of these materials and describe how each is used by society.
                    c.With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit the office of a civil engineer and learn how
                        geology is used in construction. Discuss what you learned with your counselor.
        D. Earth History Option
              1. Create a chart showing suggested geological eras and periods. Determine which period the
                    rocks in your region might have been formed.
              2. Explain to your counselor the processes of burial and fossilization, and discuss the concept of
              3. Explain to your counselor how fossils provide information about ancient life, environment,
                    climate, and geography. Discuss the following terms and explain how animals from each
                    habitat obtain food: benthonic, pelagic, littoral, lacustrine, open marine, brackish, fluvial, eolian,
                    protected reef.
              4. Collect 10 different fossil plants or animals OR (with your counselor's assistance) identify 15
                    different fossil plants or animals. Record in a notebook where you obtained (found, bought,
                    traded) each one. Classify each specimen to the best of your ability, and explain how each one
                    might have survived and obtained food. Tell what else you can learn from these fossils.
              5. Do ONE of the following:
                    a. Visit a science museum or the geology department of a local university that has fossils on
                        display. With your parent's and counselor's approval, before you go, make an appointment
                        with a curator or guide who can show you how the fossils are preserved and prepared for
                    b. Visit a structure in your area that was built using fossiliferous rocks. Determine what kind of
                        rock was used and tell your counselor the kinds of fossil evidence you found there.
                    c. Visit a rock outcrop that contains fossils. Determine what kind of rock contains the fossils,
                        and tell your counselor the kinds of fossil evidence you found at the outcrop.
                    d. Prepare a display or presentation on your state fossil. Include an image of the fossil, the age
                        of the fossil, and its classification. You may use maps, books, articles from periodicals, and
                        research found on the Internet (with your parent's permission). Share the display with your
                        counselor or a small group (such as your class at school). If your state does not have a
                        state fossil, you may select a state fossil from a neighboring state.

Geology Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.