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​Geology Education

The rich natural history, abundant mineral resources, and varied landscape of Pennsylvania provides teachers, students, families, and the public many opportunities to enjoy and learn about geology.

Resources for Teachers

Geology has been an integral part of the Pennsylvania K-12 earth science curriculum for more than 50 years.

Innovations in science education require teachers to look beyond the textbooks to bring geology concepts into the classroom.

DCNR is committed to providing teachers with tools and resources to make geology both interesting and exciting to students.

Pennsylvania Geology Educational Booklets

DCNR’s Bureau of Geological Survey has published booklets in its educational series (ES) and as an environmental geology report (EG) that explain topics related to Pennsylvania geology.

Several of these booklets can be used to address the Pennsylvania academic standards and anchors established through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

ES 1–12 contain introductory materials for students on a variety of geologic topics with a focus on Pennsylvania. EG 2 reviews the effects of geology on man’s activities and vice versa.

These publications are free. They can be viewed or downloaded, and for some, printed copies can be obtained from the bureau.

Pennsylvania Geology Educational Maps

In their classrooms, teachers can use the DCNR Bureau of Geological Survey poster maps and page-size maps that illustrate aspects of the geology of Pennsylvania. All of the listed maps are free to view or download, and some are available in print from the bureau.

Geologic Shaded-Relief Map of Pennsylvania

Poster maps include:

Page-size maps include:

Pennsylvania Geology Interactive CD

A CD of statewide digital information that can supplement earth-science classroom activities is available to teachers free of charge.

The disc offers many educational resources:

  • Lesson plans based on grade level
  • Geologic data and custom maps
  • Educational publications and page-size maps
  • Educational games, including PA Map, Rocktris, and Ringing Rocks
  • Helpful web links

Pennsylvania Rock Samples

DCNR’s Bureau of Geological Survey sells a rock box known as the Pennsylvania Rock Hound Kit. 

This useful teaching tool contains samples of Pennsylvania rocks. Ordering information can be found on the Identifying and Collecting webpage.